Socceroos add panache to Aussie spirit

There is a lot to like about the Socceroos’ from a philosophical perspective despite the score in their World Cup opener against Chile.

Importantly, for the future, they have got the first-game nerves out of their system - because that is more likely to have cost them the game than anything else.

Chile was far superior for the opening 20 minutes and was worthy of the two goals they scored.

The Socceroos during this period looked like rabbits in the headlights, which is understandable given the difference in experience at this level between the two sides...and that is okay.

To their credit they stuck to the Postecoglou philosophy and continued to try and play themselves into form. Eventually, through some decent football and sheer desperation they got back into the fight courtesy of the ever-reliable head of Tim Cahill.

It was always going to be a big ask for the new-look Australian team against opposition of this quality but the experience gained from the match will be invaluable.

The Socceroos showed they had the character and just as importantly, the mentality to get themselves up from the canvas when it looked like the fight was done.

They also showed they had the football in them and the way they played their way back into the game will only enhance their status as a footballing team.

They made a statement to the football world that there is more to them than just good old Aussie spirit.

Chile really put the Aussies to the sword from the outset. They looked a world-class side with their ball movement and incisive passing and our boys couldn't get close to them.

We were half a yard off the pace and our touches were clumsy and at times rushed - a sure sign of nerves.

Mark Bresciano started as predicted but looked rusty from a lack of game time and struggled to get into the match. That we turned the ball over too frequently didn't help his or the team's cause.

This was due to, in part good pressure from the Chileans but the Socceroos also conceded too much field position in my opinion. We didn't press as high up the pitch as we have in recent games under Postecoglou and Chile were able to squeeze us in our own half, with or without the ball.

It's okay to drop off and defend a bit deeper but there comes a point when you've got stop defending space and get tight and put some quick pressure on the ball to stop the forward pass.

Admittedly it was going to be difficult to play a pressing game because it's damn hard work and the condition of Bresciano, who was playing behind Cahill, was always going to be problematic from a strategic point of view.

Momentum built too easily for the La Roja and an early goal looked inevitable. It came from some clever combination play but also some panicky defending from Australia.

I actually felt at the time it might have been the circuit breaker we needed to settle our nerves but within two minutes we conceded a second. Once again it was well constructed but our defence was pulled badly out of shape and that made it all the easier.

Psychologically it's easy to deal with an early goal but a quick second raises doubts when you've been chasing shadows for a while - it showed in the body language of some of the Australian players.

Despite the goal the half time break would have been welcome respite from the intense pressure of the first 45 minutes.

The break clearly gave the players a chance to gain some composure because the Socceroos dominated the second half. We played higher up the field and used the width a lot better.

Matt Leckie and Bresciano started to have a real impact on the game. Leckie in particular would have raised the eyebrows of a few that wouldn't have heard his name before but he really needs to become a lot more ruthless in front of goal.

Ben Halloran was good in his cameo. Tommy Oar, I feel, found the going a bit tough and Halloran's power and speed might be useful against the physical Dutch.

I am really loath to say it's all over but we really needed a point from the game to keep the dream alive. Still no one expected Holland to nail Spain as they did except the Dutch themselves.

Our game against them on Wednesday is just another chance to gain some more invaluable experience.