Socceroos fans seething over 'unwatchable' scenes in England game

The uproar from football fans came as the Socceroos put up a brave showing against their old enemies.

Pictured left is Socceroos coach Graham Arnold.
Graham Arnold's Socceroos side went down 1-0 to England in a first ever friendly match between the sides held at Wembley. Pic: Getty

Aussie football fans have taken to social media to express their anger and frustration over a glitchy broadcast for the Socceroos' historic friendly against England at Wembley. Graham Arnold's Socceroos put in a superb performance against the No.4-ranked side in the world, going down 1-0 in what was their first ever match at England's 'home of football'.

A 57th minute goal from Ollie Watkins proved enough for England to claim the spoils after manager Gareth Southgate named an experimental starting XI that saw big guns such as captain Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham and Marcus Rashford relegated to the bench. Arnold would have been immensely proud of the performance from his side even though there was a sense that Australia let a golden opportunity slip, with striker Mitch Duke, Ryan Strain and Connor Metcalfe all going agonisingly close to scoring for the Socceroos.

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The first half of the match was dogged by broadcast issues for many fans watching or streaming the match on Network 10/Paramount+. Fans were left frustrated on multiple occasions as the feed cut out at random intervals.

“We apologise for the lack of pictures,” Ten’s commentator said when the match broadcast disappeared and was replaced by a Socceroos logo. “Again, we do apologise for the break up in the feed we are receiving from England," he added a short time later.

Many viewers took to social media to share their frustration with the quality of the broadcast. While much of the fury for Aussie fans was directed at the 10 network, others pointed out it was an issue with the local feed in London being provided to overseas broadcasters - a bizarre scenario considering the professionalism of football broadcasting across the UK.

Socceroos fail to score after several big chances

The Aussies went into halftime on level terms with England, despite creating the better chances over the opening 45 minutes. Duke has his head in his hands after flashing a volley centimetres wide of England's goal, while Strain was thwarted by a desperate goal-line clearance from England defender Lewis Dunk after opting for placement over power when put through one-on-one with goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.

The Socceroos would have been dreaming of a repeat of their famous 2003 upset of England at Upton Park but were fortunate not to go behind when Aston Villa hitman Watkins beat the offside trap and rounded keeper Mat Ryan, only to send his shot trickling into the post. England did eventually make the Aussies pay for their wastefulness in front of goal early in the second half when Watkins poked home a volley from Jack Grealish.

Metcalfe was desperately unlucky not to rescue a late draw for the Socceroos after his towering header off a Martin Boyle corner clipped the outside of the post. All that was missing was the final touch as Australia came up short in their quest to emulate the "Shockeroos" of 2003, who beat David Beckham and co at Upton Park when Arnold was assistant manager.

Aussies rue 'missed opportunity' against England

"Undoubtedly, you could feel it was flat in the dressing room afterwards," Socceroos captain Ryan said after the match. "There was maybe something there for us, it was a missed opportunity there."

Socceroos assistant René Meulensteen echoed those sentiments after stepping in for Arnold's post-match press conference. The Socceroos coach was unable to perform his regular media duties after shouting so much from the bench that he could barely speak.

Seen here, Mitch Duke playing for the Socceroos against England.
Mitch Duke went very close to scoring a superb goal for the Socceroos against England. Pic: Getty

"He's devastated at the fact we lost," Meulensteen said about the Socceroos coach. "But you have to look at the benefits, the respect we've earned.

"You have to give those boys enormous credit for their bravery. It showed we can go toe to toe with all the big nations. We're just trying to find that extra bit of quality to really put teams to the sword."

On a gloomy and wet day in London, both sides wore black armbands and observed a minute's silence for the victims of the Israeli-Palestine conflict before kick-off. Stephanie Frappart also became the first woman to referee a Wembley international, with the French women issuing four yellow cards in a competitive friendly that saw England debutant Levi Colwill and Baccus lock horns in one of the game's most heated moments.

with AAP

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