Australia 1, Greece 0

Amazing what World Cup qualification can do for a fledgling football nation, isn’t it? More than 95,000 spectators filled the MCG on Thursday night – a record for the revamped stadium and for a game of football in this country. They all came to watch Australia beat the reigning European champions. On paper, the team that Greece fielded on the night looked stronger than the team that won the European Cup final a year and half ago. But their performance at the MCG was very ordinary. The game wasn’t all that exciting, save for Skoko’s spectacular goal. I think the playing surface was sub-standard, which contributed to a number of passes and shots at goal going astray. That was unfortunate because under Hiddink Australia has begun to cultivate a neat passing game which is great to watch when it comes off. There were glimpses of it on Thursday night around the Greek’s penalty area, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of it during the World Cup. The "friendly" match against Hiddink’s native Holland in a week or so will be a much better barometer of how the Australians are progressing.