Cahill snub sparks World Cup furore
THE Socceroos drew 1-1 with Denmark but Australian fans couldn't help but think the national team had missed a trick.
The men in green dominated from the moment Mile Jedinak levelled the scores with a 35th minute penalty - awarded after the VAR pointed out a handball from a Danish defender - but for all their best efforts they couldn't find a winner.
It was a match as promising as it was frustrating. Mathew Leckie, Aziz Behich, Tom Rogic and Daniel Arzani all showed plenty - they were our best attacking weapons, threatening throughout to break the deadlock. Arzani - the youngest player in Russia - was seriously impressive but his best efforts went unrewarded.
Even though he didn't get on the pitch Tim Cahill was all people could talk about after the result - which gave Australia its first point of the tournament following a first-start loss to France.
CAHILL SNUB INFURIATES AUSTRALIA
Tim Cahill didn't get on the pitch - and that was the problem for Aussie football fans as the 38-year-old became a hot topic in the dying stages of the match and after the full-time whistle.
Coach Bert van Marwijk first introduced Arzani for Robbie Kruse with just over 20 minutes remaining, then when striker Andrew Nabbout went off with what looked like a dislocated shoulder, Tomi Juric got the nod.
That all but sealed Cahill's fate as a benchwarmer against the Danes and that was confirmed when van Marwijk sent Jackson Irvine onto the pitch in place of Tom Rogic for his third and final substitution.
Social media lit up with people crying out for Cahill, slamming the Dutch coach for leaving Australia's most prolific goalscorer and a man with a knack for finding the back of the net when we need it most on the pine.
Former Australian goalkeeper Mark Bosnich tweeted: "Questions must be asked of the manager as to why Tim Cahill was not used with 10-15 minutes to go."
Ex-Socceroo turned SBS football analyst Craig Foster also questioned why Cahill was overlooked. Known for heading home goals for fun, Cahill's snub was made all the more puzzling when it was revealed Australia had 16 crosses into the box to Denmark's eight.
"I think the whole country and probably the rest of the world thought, 'Here comes Tim Cahill,'" Foster said. "There were crosses and one in particular which I thought Timmy would have eaten it up. I will be interested to hear about that.
"Australia produced a lot of good crosses coming behind the Danish backline and if you don't bring Cahill on in that moment, why do you put him in the squad?"
Former Socceroos defender Craig Moore also weighed into the conversation.
"These are genuine questions that people will ask now after the game, especially the way that it turns towards the end of that game, the amount of crosses we got into the box," Moore said in commentary for SBS. "Could Timmy Cahill have attacked that and got a winning goal?"
But the man himself played a straight bat to his snubbing, heaping praise on his teammates for their efforts.
Massive effort by the lads today against Denmark. Team performance was fantastic and gutted we couldn't get all 3 points. Special mention to the fans today, amazing support and the stadium was rocking. Time to pack up here in Samara and head back to Kazan to prepare for Peru. pic.twitter.com/rbtb5in3xS— TIM CAHILL (@Tim_Cahill) June 21, 2018
Those on Twitter fought for Cahill on his behalf.
Memo to Bert:— Brenton Speed (@BrentonSpeed) 21 June 2018
That’s why Cahill should share pitch with Arzani @Socceroos
SCHMEICHEL ROASTED FOR ANTICS
Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel did his best to unsettle Mile Jedinak when the Aussie skipper stepped up to the spot following the decision to award the Socceroos a penalty after the VAR caught a Danish handball.
Jedinak - who potted a penalty against France in Australia's tournament opener - took the responsibility again and made no mistake, burying the ball in the back of the net to make it 1-1.
It just went to show he had no interest in Schmeichel's antics. The shot-stopper was yelling at Jedinak, going up and waving his arms in his face and doing his best circus routine to try and force the bearded midfielder to take his eyes of the prize.
In the end, Jedinak had the last laugh. He went right and Schmeichel dived the opposite way.
We need a striker. Tim Cahill must start against Peru. No ifs or buts.— Ray Gatt (@Gatty54) 21 June 2018
Cahill would have buried that superb Arzani cross. He may be old but no-one has a better ability to be in the right place at the right time in this Socceroos team.— Ian McCullough (@IanMac08) 21 June 2018
Real shame to see that happen to Nabbout but how T Cahill is still on the bench has me absolutely buggered. A proven match winner on the big stage. Ps- how good has Leckie been— brad davidson (@braddavo) 21 June 2018