Cityroos: Australia suffer 0-1 defeat to Spain


The Olyroos have suffered defeat in their second Group Stage match of Tokyo 2020, going down 0-1 to Spain on Sunday night.

Following up from a huge 0-2 win against Argentina to get their campaign off to a perfect start, the Olyroos were under pressure from virtually the first whistle against a well-drilled Spanish team.

Graham Arnold took in an unchanged line-up, meaning there were again three current City players and a further four former players in the starting XI. Marco Tilio again appeared off the bench, replacing former Academy product Daniel Arzani in the second half.

Tom Glover

While Australia was defensively under the pump in the first half, the work from the men in front of Glover meant he didn’t have to do anything spectacular early. A powerful shot from Barcelona’s Pedri was hit straight at the City and Olyroos shot-stopper, who used soft hands to comfortably take care of it.

He continued to look strong and calm in between the sticks throughout the match and only came undone through a Mikel Oyarzabal 81st minute header which he could do very little about.

Nathaniel Atkinson

Dating back to his return for the A-League Finals Series, Atkinson continued his stellar run of form.

He was one of the best Olyroos on the pitch – particularly early – pulling off a number of important tackles and blocks to keep the Spaniards at bay, while also providing his trademark forward runs down the right.

Unfortunately for Atkinson and fans across the country, the full-back received a yellow card in the dying stages of the match – his second of the Group Stage – ruling him out of Wednesday’s clash against Egypt.

Connor Metcalfe

Metcalfe found things a little tougher going forward than the opening match of the tournament, not being offered quite the same amount of space as he was against Argentina. With Spain dominating the ball, he didn’t get the usual opportunities to showcase his talent, although he did play a few quality balls which all City fans are no doubt used to seeing by now. Defensively though, Metcalfe could not be faulted and worked tirelessly throughout the 90 minutes against a quality Spanish midfield.

Marco Tilio

After scoring the sealer moments after making his Olympic debut last fixture, Tilio was substituted on in the 63rd minute against Spain. He displayed his pace and craftiness on a handful of occasions but unfortunately, couldn’t produce the same magic he did against Argentina this time around.

Australia will take on Egypt on Wednesday night at 9.00pm (AEST) in its final Group C fixture. The Olyroos’ destiny is in their own hands, with only a draw needed to secure a place in the quarter-finals.