Gutsy Socceroos

STAR: Australian Tim Cahill scored one of the goals of the World Cup against the Netherlands. Picture: GETTY

STAR: Australian Tim Cahill scored one of the goals of the World Cup against the Netherlands. Picture: GETTY

KA: The Australians put in a gallant effort against soccer powerhouses the Netherlands on Thursday morning. 

It was a spectacular performance with the Aussies almost clinching victory, but it wasn't to be. 

The Socceroos were fearless against some of the world's best players. 

They haven't put a foot wrong in the tournament and have certainly done us proud. 

And how about that goal from Tim Cahill?

ND: Rarely has an Aussie featured as Player of the Day, but that's what Tim Cahill did.

Won't play in Monday's final pool game, but Cahill has a remarkable record on soccer's biggest stage.

Is just one of six players to have scored a goal in three World Cup campaigns.

Another superb effort by the Socceroos, who were not rated so highly going into this tournament.

A pity both matches ended in defeat, but there's Monday clash with Spain to look forward to.

KA: Cahill now has to be one of the greatest Australian soccer players to have ever played the game. 

As it stands Cahill has scored five World Cup goals.

That is more than Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney have scored. 

It is an amazing statistic. 

One game to go against Spain and whose to say we can't win that game. 

ND: Cahill being out because of a second yellow card is a huge blow to our goalscoring hopes.

Play with the same attacking flair as they did against Chile and Netherlands, and I believe the Socceroos will add to Spain's pain.

Whether it be win, draw or loss, I am sure there will be another surge in soccer's popularity across the country.

You only have to see the hundreds of youngsters playing on Bendigo's pitches each Saturday to know the game is becoming bigger each year.

Off the pitch and on to the netball court now, Magpie. Who's your tip for Sunday's grand final between Melbourne Vixens and Queensland Firebirds?

KA: It is going to be a close game, like most grand finals are, but the Vixens may be too strong playing on their home court. 

The Firebirds have an incredibly talented line-up with Australian Diamonds captain Laura Geitz and shooter Romelda Aiken. 

But the finals experience of the Vixens will be the key to the match. 

The team who wins will be the team who has the better defence and the Vixens will be in good hands with Bianca Chatfield and Geva Mentor.

ND: Most premierships, no matter what sport, are built on strong defence. 

Just look at the way the Bendigo Bank Spirit has gone about its work to achieve back-to-back WNBL titles.

A week's rest after their semi-final victory against the Thunderbirds tips the scales in favour of the Vixens. I'll go for Melbourne by three.

On the footy front, two of the Bendigo Football League's biggest rivals, Sandhurst and South Bendigo clash on Saturday at the QEO.

Sandhurst's in red-hot form, but I am expecting the Bloods to up the pressure.

KA: South Bendigo won't be able to match it with my Sandhurst seniors. 

The Dragons have had a fantastic season to date and will be too strong for the Bloods. 

I am tipping a big, big win.

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