Qantas Socceroos Player Ratings

The Offsider dishes out his ratings for the Qantas Socceroos for their performances against Japan

The Socceroos were truly heroic against Japan, now it-s time to grade their individual performances from the match.

Mark Schwarzer: His opposite number Eli Kawashimi may have made some more spectacular saves, (see his stop of Luke Wilkshire-s early bullet), but Schwarzer was again top notch for the Socceroos. There was little he could have done about the goal Japan scored, but otherwise he was solid and dominant when making sure he stopped any dangerous deliveries. Rating 8

Jade North: Deployed on the right hand side of Holger Osieck-s defence, he made one great sliding tackle but for much of the time struggled to keep a hold of Shinji Kagawa, who terrorised him throughout the evening. Rating 6

Lucas Neill: The Qantas Socceroos captain was resolute in defence and how his set-up of Alex Brosque was denied in the first half had to be seen to be believed. He showed on this night that his age or perceived lack of pace was less of an issue with a very controlled performance at the back. Rating 8

Sasa Ognenovski: Exposed at times by Oman in Muscat, the big general at the back played a better match for the Socceroos. He did let an early Japan chance through on goal, but also nearly snatched the unlikeliest of victories at the other end, his deflected shot hitting the underside of the bar before staying out. Rating 7

David Carney: Left back continues to be a problem for the Socceroos and tonight was no exception. Arguably a victim of circumstance; if anything the match showed Carney is more of a winger than a defender and his performance suffered because of it. He let a couple of solid left-footed strikes go, but his right footed effort early was poor and it was his defensive deficiency that allowed Keisuke Honda to stroll past him and tee up Yuzi Kurihara for his goal. Rating 5

Mark Bresciano: Started well for the Socceroos but was off before the 15 minute mark with an injury. Rating NR

Luke Wilkshire: The hero on a night when we needed one, Wilkshire as usual showed he is a cool man under pressure, grabbing the ball after the referee pointed to the penalty spot and slamming it home hard. He was also great with the ball at his feet and produced an early drive that forced Kawashimi into a tough save. Brilliant performance. Rating 9

Carl Valeri: Wasn-t his finest outing and indeed his turnovers nearly proved costly on many occasions, he also struggled to contain the Japanese midfield throughout the match as they ran through unimpeded. Rating 5

Matt McKay: McKay was doing an excellent job for the Socceroos until injury struck and he had a heated argument with Holger Osieck about whether or not he should have come off the pitch. McKay though performed well in attack and defence, doing a creditable job. Rating 6.5

Alex Brosque: Did a lot of the grunt work throughout the match for the Socceroos, especially once Mark Milligan was sent off and he won the penalty for WIlkshire to convert, however controversial it might have been. He was strong in the air and on the ball and a constant threat, however how he didn-t score early, off a Lucas Neill flick-on remains a mystery, perhaps a diving header was the right idea? Rating 8

Tim Cahill: Got his start and showed everyone he is not a spent force at the highest level. Cahill proved to be a massive thorn in Japan-s side throughout the match working hard up front and winning many challenges in the air at both ends of the park, he also helped set up a few opportunities. If there was one slight on his game it-s that he should have beaten Kawashimi early on, but shot straight at the Japanese keeper. Rating 8.5

Mark Milligan: His horror run against Japan continued in Brisbane. Brought on somewhat surprisingly as an early replacement for Mark Bresciano, he tried hard but was caught out by the pace of play in the midfield and made a couple of poor passes which he was lucky did not lead to goals, though they both led to near misses. His second yellow was beyond a joke, but still his first was unnecessary. Rating 4

Nikita Rukavysta: The speedster was brought on by Osieck once Japan went up a goal to try and spice things up, but never really had the desired impact. Rating 4

Robbie Kruse: It was nice for him to get to represent his nation in front of his home crowd, but he played just two minutes. Rating NR