The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: Chinese Taipei v Socceroos

by Ben Somerford on Oct 16, 2019

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Three points and seven goals. No complaints? It’s never that simple with Australian football but the majority of Socceroos were satisfied with Tuesday’s 7-1 win in Chinese Taipei.

Australia strengthened their strange-hold on the group with three straight wins to start qualifying.
It was a shame to concede a goal but nice for Chinese Taipei to have their moment in the sun, albeit in front of barely 3,000 fans.

GGArmy’s Ben Somerford muses about the good, the bad and the ugly from the Kaohsiung rout.

The Good
Goals. You can question the level of the opposition, but Australia got goals. After failing to score in three of our five 2019 Asian Cup matches and in open play at last year’s World Cup, it’s refreshing to see the Socceroos score a dozen times in two matches.

Suddenly Jamie Maclaren and Adam Taggart both have five international goals next to their names when you look at the Australia squad. I said it before the Nepal match, but that’ll do them both the world of good. Throw Jackson Irvine in there too. Substitute Maclaren’s clinical finish for Australia’s sixth, having only been on the pitch for five minutes, shows what confidence does. He didn’t need a second invitation. He didn’t hesitate.

A large part of the criticism aimed at Australia after the 5-0 win over Nepal was the side’s inability to break down a defensively-minded opponent. It was pleasing to see that the Socceroos were more incisive and ruthless against Chinese Taipei. Ignore the opposition. We got growth. We got goals.

The Bad
The perception for Aussie fans is Brandon Borrello’s stocks have been on the rise. Watching from afar, we’ve been impressed by his rapid progress in Germany, shooting up from a speculative signing for second tier battlers Kaiserslautern to a starter at midtable Bundesliga outfit SC Freiburg. He’s managed to achieve all that sandwiched between an ACL injury too.

But sadly he battled in his display against Chinese Taipei. His first touch let him down, he defensively got caught out and soon went missing. His bone-crunching tackle on Chinese Taipei keeper Pan Wen-Chieh was a sign of frustration.

This scribe has no doubt Borrello’s time will come in green and gold, but in only his third cap and second start for Australia, he found the going tough, albeit against weaker opposition. It takes time to gel with new team-mates and understand a different system. The disappointment really was that we had lofty expectations based on Borrello’s recent rise. We’ll just need to temper them for now.

The Ugly
At this stage of qualifying, there’s no need to fault Australia’s performance, so I’m going elsewhere and going to point the finger at the Chinese Taipei broadcast director who had a mare of an evening. Commentator Simon Hill was left to apologise after the broadcast feed to Fox Sports failed to capture Jackson Irvine’s second goal to make it 4-1.

It was an easy mistake, though, as the feed cut to an uninteresting replay as Australia launched an attack from a set-piece, leading to Irvine heading home from close range (note sarcasm here). The ensuing replay didn’t even show the goal, instead providing an opportunity to witness a defensive clearance instead!

No doubt there were panic stations behind the scenes and we cannot blame Fox Sports, who don’t control the feed. Although it was unusual for them not to send commentators to Taipei for this game, possibly due to financial constraints, with Hill and Andy Harper providing their insights via TV. And on this note, it is nice to see Simon has joined our legion on Twitter these days.