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Author Archive for Kate Cohen

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A-League grand final tactics: bustling, brilliant Besart Berisha key for Victory

The Albanian striker’s relentless high-energy output was the rock on which foundations for Melbourne Victory’s grand final win over Sydney FC were laid

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A-League tactics: Adelaide tweaks lead to exciting encounter with Brisbane

Last week’s two elimination finals boasted intriguing tactical components which led to two very different outcomes

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A-League tactics: Adelaide tweaks lead to exciting encounter with Brisbane

Last week’s two elimination finals boasted intriguing tactical components which led to two very different outcomes

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A-League tactics: Sydney opens old wounds against Newcastle

Sydney’s 4-3 win against Newcastle exposed the same weaknesses in the Jets defence they had exploited in the corresponding fixture six weeks previous

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A-League tactics: no goals but plenty of intrigue served up by City and Phoenix

Two four-man midfields, rather than cancelling each other out, helped produce an entertaining encounter between Melbourne City and Wellington Continue reading…

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A-League tactics: no goals but plenty of intrigue served up by City and Phoenix

Two four-man midfields, rather than cancelling each other out, helped produce an entertaining encounter between Melbourne City and Wellington Continue reading…

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A-League tactics: Perth Glory’s conventional approach netting results

An additional man up front as part of a return to a more conventional 4-4-2 formation has seen Perth Glory flourish Continue reading…

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A-League tactics: Perth Glory’s conventional approach netting results

An additional man up front as part of a return to a more conventional 4-4-2 formation has seen Perth Glory flourish Continue reading…

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A-League tactics: rain scuppers intriguing tactical battle between Roar and Phoenix

The chance to see the impact of a bold tactical change was lost as the weather put paid to Brisbane’s match with Wellington at the weekend

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A-League tactics: Sydney reap benefits of dragging Newcastle Jets out of shape

Sydney FC’s tactical approach in the second half against Newcastle took full advantage of the Jets’ failure to learn their lessons from the first period

Sydney FC continued their incredible post-Asian Cup break run, beating Newcastle Jets 1-0 on Friday night to make it five wins and a draw since the restart. Despite the close scoreline and Newcastle having chances of their own, it was a game where Sydney dominated for large swathes.

That was primarily due to their ability to create overloads in between Newcastle’s lines of defence and midfield, with wingers Chris Naumoff and Bernie Ibini coming inside alongside No10 Alex Brosque.

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A-League tactics: Adelaide’s half-time switch pays dividends for Josep Gombau

A change in formation midway through the weekend’s game against Western Sydney Wanderers proved a masterstroke by the Adelaide United boss

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A-League tactics: the secret to Central Coast’s upset of Adelaide United

More reactive, deeper-lying Mariners reap benefits of denying Adelaide United space in midfield

It was a round of shocks – Sydney upset ladder leaders Perth and Western Sydney finally got their first win of the season against Wellington – but the biggest shock came when the struggling Central Coast Mariners came from behind to beat in-form Adelaide United. Coming off the back of a 5-1 loss to Sydney FC, Central Coast took advantage of a lapse in concentration from their opponents to score two late goals but it was their defensive set up which prevented Adelaide from adding to their lead.

For much of the season the Mariners have been a side best characterised by their slow, monotonous build up play. They want to dominate possession and frequently have, but they have often lacked creativity in the final third. Couple this with their continued defensive lapses and it’s no surprise they have struggled for wins. But against Adelaide, the Mariners set up more reactively, looking to sit back in their own half and prevent spaces opening up in midfield.

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Analysis: How the Socceroos can beat South Korea in the Asian Cup final

The Asian Cup’s best attack meets its meanest defence, in a final that pits two contrasting footballing philosophies against each other

When the Socceroos take on South Korea in the final of the Asian Cup on Saturday, they will have firsthand knowledge of who and what they are about to face. It is rare for two sides to play each other twice in the same tournament but with both sides coming through Group A and advancing through different sides of the knockout draw, the meeting in the final is somewhat fitting.

The Socceroos have proved themselves able in every match bar one – the final group game against South Korea in Brisbane. Scoring for fun against Kuwait and Oman, breaking down China’s resolute first half defence and withstanding the second half attacks of United Arab Emirates is what Australia has achieved so far. But their game against South Korea was one where Australia fell short – unable to take advantage of their chances in a game where Ange Postecoglou felt his side deserved to win.

Related: Soldiering on: the sentimental star of South Korea’s Asian Cup heroics

Related: Asian Cup: the players who could decide the final – in pictures

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Analysis: Socceroos’ patient philosophy key to victory over China

A defiant China makes hard work for the Socceroos, but the win shows the commitment to possession-based football

If Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou has one fundamental belief, it is that in order to give themselves the best chance of winning, his side must look to dominate games. “In our region, there shouldn’t be a reason why we don’t dominate games,” Postecoglou has said, and that unwavering philosophy has guided Australia’s performances throughout the last 15 months.

It was that desire to take the game to the opponent, irrespective of who they were, that was present during the 2014 World Cup – if Australia back down and change their style when they’re up against the best, why would players believe in the style when they play a lesser opposition? It was that belief in the dominating style that shone through in Australia’s 2-0 win over China last night. The result against China, which sees Australia advance through to the final four of the Asian Cup, not only re-emphasises the belief in the group, it also highlighted where continued improvements are needed.

Related: Asian Cup quarter-final: China 0-2 Australia | Match report

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Asian Cup: five things we’ve learned about the Socceroos so far

The Socceroos’ largely successful group campaign has given an indication of how well Ange Postecoglou’s masterplan is coming together

Coaches can sometimes get defensive when the dreaded phrase “rotation policy” is used. As if it is a spur of the moment decision to change the line-up, there are often negative connotations surrounding it – Western Sydney Wanderers’ manager Tony Popovic has had to fend off countless questions on the topic. But even prior to the tournament, Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou was quick to emphasise the need to manage his players throughout the tournament.

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Free-scoring Socceroos allay fears over one-dimensional goal threat

Any fears that the Socceroos were over reliant on Tim Cahill for goals were put to bed with another four-goal salvo against Oman

Entering the Asian Cup, there were question marks looming over Australia as to where, apart from Tim Cahill, the goals would come from. That question has been answered emphatically during their opening two group games against Kuwait and Oman, with eight different players on the scoresheet. Against Oman, it was Matt McKay, Robbie Kruse, Mark Milligan and Tomi Juric with the goals as Australia secured qualification through Group A.

The match was over as a contest by half-time as the Socceroos ran riot against Oman’s back five. Such was their dominance – entering the break 3-0 up – the opposition’s coach Paul Le Guen made a double substitution and abandoned the initial formation at the break, moving to a 4-2-3-1 in an attempt to keep the score somewhat respectable.

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Asian Cup final four the minimum expectation for Socceroos

Hopes are high for hosts Australia at the Asian Cup, even if big question marks remain over the ability of Ange Postecoglou’s side

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A-League: five things we learned from round 14

A welcome break for some; Glory’s bogey side; Mariners in goal shock; Jets’ experiment ends; and is Ernie Merrick the best coach around?

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A-League tactics: midfield domination key to Wellington’s recent run

Jeremy Brockie and his goals stole the headlines against Brisbane but Wellington’s midfield, as in recent weeks, was the real star of the show

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A-League tactics: midfield domination key to Wellington’s recent run

Jeremy Brockie and his goals stole the headlines against Brisbane but Wellington’s midfield, as in recent weeks, was the real star of the show

For the first time since October 2012, over 10,000 Phoenix fans came through the gates at the ‘Cake Tin’ to see Wellington put three unanswered goals past Brisbane Roar. A certain Alessandro Del Piero was the draw card to that match over two years ago, when the Italian made his A-League debut for Sydney FC, but on Sunday, the crowd was there to see an in-form Phoenix side soar to second place in the ladder.

Jeremy Brockie scored twice in his final game for the club but it was the midfield area which was key. “All three of our midfielders were outstanding,” said Ernie Merrick post-game. “Albert [Riera], Vince [Lia] and Alex Rodriguez were setting up Roly [Bonevacia], who was playing in an advanced position, Jeremy Brockie had a terrific game and Michael [McGlinchey] just ran out of legs towards the end. I didn’t think we had a bad player today.”

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