In a recent friendly match between Australia and Ecuador in London, the Socceroos suffered another major setback as they lost to the South Americans by 4 - 3.
The first half of the game was in the favor of Aussies as they were leading by 3 goals. But the second half made a dramatic turn when Ecuador bounced back in the game putting 3 goals to equalize. The game, till the end looked like will end up in draw. But at the last minute the scene changed totally as Ecuador, finding a loophole in the defense, Edison Mendez scored the final goal to snatch the game from the clutch of Australia.
Right from the beginning Australia showed strong determination and spirit with new captain Miles Jedinak, leaving no room to Ecuador. At the eighth minute of the first half, striker Tim Cahill scored the first goal of the game, making him the highest goal scorer of Australia, ahead of Damian Mori.
Few minutes later, Ecuador made another mistake as they tried to tackle Cahill inside the box, which ended up in penalty. A fine shot from Jedinak put Australia in 2 - 0. At 31 minute in the first half, Ecuador faced another disaster as Cahill put another goal leading the team to 3 - 0.
As the second half rolled, Ecuador seems more poised as they took control over the remaining game. At the 57th minute the first breakthrough came when Fidel Martínez scored the first goal. Some few minutes later goalkeeper Mitch Langerak, who stepped in replacing Mathew Ryan made a crude tackle inside the box and was shown red card. Segundo Castillo of Ecuador ensures making no mistake, scored another goal from penalty kick.
With one man down for Australia and Ecuador showing high spirit right from the second half, the Socceroos struggled to get back to the game.
Georgia Postecoglou, the coach for Australian squad made some couple of changes but that doesn't seem to affect much to the South Americans. At the 77th minute, Enner Valencia scored another goal, equalizing the score to 3 - 3.
At one time of the game, draw seem more likely when with just a few minute left in hand, Australia suffered the final blow as defender Edison Mendez scored the final goal for Ecuador, snatching the game away from the Aussies.
As the World Cup 2014 countdown draws near, this sad loss against Ecuador is a matter of concern. Aussies coach, Ange Postecoglou is completely disappointed as he stated "It's extremely disappointing. In the second half we lost control of the game a fair bit. I'm supremely confident we'll be better for it. I have huge belief in the direction we are going. There are going to be some bumps along the way. You never like to lose because the players put a massive shift in".
Looks like Australia need some time to plan accordingly and ensure victory in the coming friendly match with South Africa, which is slated to host in Sydney on May 26, to regain mental spirit.