The picture says it all, doesn't it?
The Germans beat Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer with ease, hitting the back of the net four times. With high hopes going into the tournament, one has to wonder where it all went wrong for the Australian World Cup team.
Was it the porous defence, or the lack of bite in attack? Perhaps it was the non-existent midfield instead? Unimaginable prior to the match, it was a tragic combination of all three.
Certainly, my prediction for this match was completely off. With German captain Michael Ballack out of the tournament through injury, I had thought Australia could at least go toe-to-toe with the Germans in the midfield and rally for a tie.
Boy, was I off the mark entirely!
I never considered that this team would show no heart, or will, to pull themselves out of a crisis. It never crossed my mind that this team would display such a lack of skill that they'd just invite German attackers into the box.
What took place was a complete domination of the Socceroos.
Running riot over the Australian defence, Germany had nine shots on goal versus Australia's paltry two. Dominating in the middle, at the back and up front, Germany held the ball 56 per cent of the game, using their possession well to unload two goals in each half.
For some, it came as no surprise that the Germans were victorious—the last time they lost during the group stage was back in 1986, playing as West Germany. But did anyone predict that they’d close out the match with such a brutal annihilation of the Socceroos?
We must look at the sloppy defending by the Australians to see exactly why they lost this match in such an embarrassing fashion.
Simply put: The players looked careless all over the pitch, leaving massive openings for players like Lukas Podolski and Bastian Schweinsteiger to exploit. They allowed Germany free passage through the midfield and into the penalty box time and time again.
It was a sorry state of affairs to see Socceroos legend Craig Moore looking lost and out of his depth against Germany's potent attack. Quite honestly, the Australians were just outclassed and outplayed.
They lacked aggression up front and weren't quick enough to fool Germany’s sharp, high-tempo defenders. With that, Australia failed to string together any sort of attacking brilliance to even salvage a goal to save face. It was disheartening to see an attacking play quickly, and simply, getting snuffed out because of a lack of support from the rest of the team.
While beating the bruising German national team was a tall order for Australia, with the likes of Tim Cahill in the midfield and Lucas Neill as the linchpin of the defence, more was expected of them than what they showed.
It was a poor display for the Australian team as a whole, and one wonders if they'll be able to recover quickly enough from this disconcerting display on the world stage to remain competitive in their next two games.