Beauchamp impresses under pressure
One of the revelations of the Socceroos’ inspiring form reversal against Thailand last night was Michael Beauchamp, whose reputation as one of Australia’s prime defensive options gathered further momentum following a stoic display – highlighted by his first international goal.
One of the revelations of the Socceroos- inspiring form reversal against Thailand last night was Michael Beauchamp, whose reputation as one of Australia-s prime defensive options gathered further momentum following a stoic display - highlighted by his first international goal.
Beauchamp-s strike - the match opener on 21 minutes, set the tone for a match where Australia largely dictated terms against an enthused local line up urged on by a near capacity partisan crowd at the Rajamangala National Stadium.
In addition to triggering Australia-s good fortune in front of goal, Beauchamp was instrumental in securing the Socceroos- as yet unproven back line, which had leaked more goals than any of their Group A rivals leading into the match.
Alongside Sydney FC starlet Mark Milligan, Beauchamp was clinical in keeping the Thai-s dynamic attacking force at bay.
With lynchpin defender Lucas Neill set to return from suspension for Australia-s quarter final match up against Japan in Hanoi next Saturday, Beauchamp has provided coach Graham Arnold with a welcome selection headache ahead of what will surely be the Socceroos- sternest test of these championships.
"The boys battled from the first whistle today, it-s a bit of a turnaround so we-re happy," said Beauchamp after the match.
"We-ve got a bit of preparation to do before the next game against Japan - I think this win today will just lift the boys and hopefully we can go on from here.
"It-s going to be tough, we-re playing on Japan-s terms this year, they-re playing some good football but we-re looking forward to the challenge."
Beauchamp-s contribution to Australia-s first ever Asian Cup victory adds another outstanding chapter to what has been a whirlwind period for the 1. FC Nürnberg defender.
After being widely recognised as the best defender in the Hyundai A-League following his exploits with the Central Coast Mariners in 2005/06, Beauchamp secured a move to Germany-s Bundesliga on the back of a call up to Australia-s 2006 FIFA World Cup squad.
Once in Germany, Beauchamp eventually established himself as a first-term regular with the Bundesliga heavyweights, and, was influential in helping 1. FC Nürnberg lift their first domestic silverware - the DfB Pokal Cup, in several years.
Now looking to secure his place in the Socceroos- starting eleven, Beauchamp-s performance in testing circumstances against the tournament co-hosts will almost certainly have increased the 26-year-old-s chances of being a part of Australia-s defensive line up against Japan.
"That-s just part of football, you go out there and you train hard and at the end of the day it-s up to the trainer to pick the team," said Beauchamp.
"You-ve got to respect that decision and I was happy to get a game today."
Reigning Asian Cup champions Japan now stand between Australia and a semi final berth, with the Socceroos set to take on their nemeses of one year ago at Hanoi-s My Dinh Stadium this coming Saturday, 21 July. Kick off is at 8.20pm AEST.
Fox Sports will feature live and exclusive coverage of the match from 8pm AEST. Click here for the entire Fox Sports broadcast schedule.