It wasn’t pretty, but the Socceroos got the job done with a 1-0 victory over New Zealand in the farewell friendly on Australian shores before the World Cup.
A long-range thunderbolt from Awer Mabil was the only goal that separated the two sides as the Aussies kept a clean sheet, but that’s not to say it was a defensive performance to applaud either.
Foxsports.com.au analysed every player’s performance in the Socceroos Player Ratings!
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Mat Ryan (GK): 7
Didn’t have a whole lot to do throughout the night, but was dependable when called upon. Was forced to get down low to make a save in the opening minute but other than that, the Socceroos skipper didn’t have to perform any acrobatics to keep the ball out.
Fran Karacic (RB): 4
Offered little going forward and his crossing was not up to scratch. Struggled to deal with NZ left-back Liberato Cacace throughout the game and did not give many reasons why he should be the first choice right-back ahead of his competition.
Trent Sainsbury (CB): 2.5
A nightmare start for Sainsbury continued to get worse with every passing minute. A careless loss of possession in the opening minute gifted the Kiwis an easy shot on target. He was outmuscled by NZ striker Andre de Jong in the 9th minute and Sainsbury could count himself very fortunate de Jong fired inches wide. He coughed up the ball too often in dangerous areas and that will get punished in Qatar.
Milos Degenek (CB): 6
Solid without being spectacular. Degenek was a constant threat from set pieces and was visibly frustrated when he sent a number of his headers over the bar. Didn’t do his hopes of starting in the World Cup any harm, but also didn’t exactly stake a major claim.
Aziz Behich (LB): 5
Behich had plenty of energy up and down the left flank and made runs with purpose. But the Dundee United defender got turned inside out by his opposite number on a number of occasions and had to be bailed out by his teammates.
Aaron Mooy (CM): 6
His lack of pace was exposed on the transition a worrying amount of times, but he helped ping the ball around the park and keep the play ticking over. His set piece delivery was strong and presented a number of chances for the Aussies.
Jackson Irvine (CM): 5.5
Had a golden chance to put the Aussies into the lead when a rebound fell kindly to his feet from a corner in the 16th minute. Also should have had an assist from a header back across the face of goal that was prodded home by Sainsbury, but he was flagged for a foul having supposedly knocked over an NZ player. Guilty of slowing play down at times but got around the pitch well. Copped a yellow in the 73rd minute for an ugly tackle in a sign of frustration.
Ajdin Hrustic (CM): 6.5
Hrustic looked to create from midfield but didn’t get many chances to unlock NZ’s defence. Served up some delicious switches of play to unsettle the Kiwis and had some delicate touches to get around the opposition, but never quite looked a serious threat.
Awer Mabil (LW): 9.5
Head and shoulders our best player on the park tonight. Was extremely positive and adventurous with the ball when going forward and looked to drive at opponents whenever he had a bit of open space in front of him. His goal was richly deserved and it was an absolute screamer as well.
Martin Boyle (RW): 5
Boyle was a little bit off the boil. Usually electric on the right, the Hibernian flyer was a second too late when chances came through in the box. He was always running at defenders at pace but lacked an end product against the Kiwis.
Adam Taggart (ST): 7
Unfortunately didn’t get many clear cut chances in his time on the park, but made several intelligent runs to drag defenders out of position and help create chances for his teammates.
Riley McGree (CM): 5
McGree blazed a solid chance over the bar in the 66th minute but was relatively anonymous in the midfield when entering the game on the hour mark.
Jamie Maclaren (ST): 5.5
Maclaren played off the shoulder of the last man in the Kiwis backline which often left him isolated, but chased down everything in a hardworking cameo off the bench
Mat Leckie (LW): 4.5
Leckie gave away a sloppy handball in an extremely dangerous area towards the end of the game. He then missed a gilt-edged chance to put the Aussies two goals to the good when it seemed easier to score than miss.
Nathaniel Atkinson (RB): 6.5
Was subbed on in the 69th minute and was decent enough in the time he was on the park. Whipped in a good cross for Maclaren which was unfortunately called for off-side on the striker. Atkinson made a crucial intervention in the 81st minute to prevent what would have been a simple tap-in for the Kiwis.
Connor Metcalfe (CM): N/A
Joel King (LB): N/A