Trapattoni pays tribute to Australia

Trapattoni pays tribute to Australia

12/08/'09: Republic of Ireland 0 - 3  Australia
13th Aug 2009
Republic of Ireland0-3Australia
Kenia 90 + 2Cahill 38, 44, Carney 90 +
Wednesday, 12 August 2009Thomond Park Stadium, Limerick

Trapattoni pays tribute to Australia

Giovanni Trapattoni complimented Australia on their performance after they had inflicted upon the Republic of Ireland at Thomond Park the heaviest defeat they have suffered since he assumed command.

"Australia deserved their win" said Trapattoni, who suggested that Ireland's lack of match fitness in advance of the kick-off of the club season compromised their performance.

Australia thrilled their supporters in an attendance of 19,428 at the headquarters of Munster's rugby squad with a devastating performance that illustrated perfectly just why they sailed serenely through their World Cup qualifying tournament to qualify for the finals for a second consecutive time.

Australia were superbly balanced, extremely efficient and excitingly imaginative in their football. They underlined their superiority with three well crafted and expertly taken goals with Everton's Tim Cahill helping himself to two in the first half and full-back David Carney conjuring up a spectacular third in added time.

Afterwards Ireland's manager spoke of the sense of disappointment in Ireland's dressing-room and of his own disappointment at Ireland's inability to hit a better level of performance. He suggested this was, at least in part, due to their lack of football before the season's start.

He said: "We knew before the game that some of our players were not ready to play 90 minutes of international football because of their lack of physical conditioning. We could see this in training."

He conceded: "This was a lesson - Australia deserved their win, they were the better team. We played better in the second half and we had opportunities to score that we did not take. I would have been happy had we taken just one."

Ireland had scoring chances before Cahill struck for Australia's first goal. Robbie Keane headed over after an enterprising move in the 13th minute that saw a necklace of passes that linked Glenn Whelan, John O'Shea, Aiden McGeady, Kevin Kilbane and McGeady again, end with a lovely cross from the Celtic winger.

McGeady had a sparkling game as had Robbie Keane but they were countered by a sturdy Australia defence that was bound tightly together by the play of central midfielder Mile Jedinak. His dominant role suggested he held the key that locked out Ireland.

Keane was closer to a goal in the 23rd minute when again McGeady found him with a perceptive pass inside the penalty area. Keane twisted and turned away from two defenders but goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer dived bravely at his feet to beat the shot away.

Critically Ireland lost another chance in the 32nd minute when Darron Gibson broke from deep defence to carry the ball into Australian territory. He chose to look for Kevin Doyle on the right when Keane was unmarked at the opposite side of the penalty area and played the pass too firmly.

This was critical for Australia were in front within another six minutes when Cahill found the lively Scott McDonald on the fringe of the penalty area and drove his precise return firmly and accurately into the far corner of the net from 22 yards. And when Cahill knocked in a second after Shay Given had done well to stop a powerful shot from Rhys Williams, Ireland knew the game was slipping from them.

Australia's manager, Pim Verbeek, was understandably well pleased with their evening's work - "We played well, worked hard and we showed we are a good team with some very special players.

"We started with our regular defence and although Robbie Keane gave us trouble we defended well ... we can score goals and our younger players showed up well."

Trapattoni specifically praised Aiden McGeady and Robbie Keane and spoke again of the physical demands of international football - demands that mean you cannot hope to perform to your top level unless you are 100% fit.

He was looking ahead to the World Cup qualifying tie against Cyprus in Larnaca in three weeks time when he said: "The players will have four, five and maybe six matches played when we travel to Cyprus and we will be in a better condition physically.

"I said before the game that Australia were physically strong and had a good, competitive, mentality. Cyprus will be a different opponent ... dangerous but in a different way to Australia. I gave the players words of encouragement afterwards because they were a little bit down but I know after 30 years what to expect from games like this. Cyprus will be different."

Republic of Ireland: Shay Given (Keiren Westwood 68); John O'Shea, Richard Dunne, Sean St. Ledger, Kevin Kilbane (Eddie Nolan 63); Damien Duff (Stephen Hunt 45), Glenn Whelan, Darron Gibson (Keith Andrews 63), Aiden McGeady; Robbie Keane, Kevin Doyle (Caleb Folan 45).

Australia: Mark Schwarzer; Rhys Williams, Jade North (Matt Spiranovic 72), Patrick Kisnorbo (Adrian Madaschi 45), David Carney; Mark Bresciano, Luke Wilkshire, Mile Jedinak, Tim Cahill, Harry Kewell (Nikita Rukavytsya 45); Scott McDonald (Brett Holman 45).

Referee: Mr. Alfonso Perez Burrul (Spain).