Posts Tagged ‘Australia’
Australia beat Jordan 4-0 in Group B of the Asian World Cup 2014 qualifying tournament to move up into second place in the table, which will guarantee them a place in the finals if they can stay there after the final round of matches next week. Australia, with ten points, have a home fixture against Iraq (18-06-2013) and their only real challengers for second spot are Oman on nine points who are away to Jordan on the same day.
It turned out to be a straightforward victory for Holger Osieck’s Socceroos. They went ahead just after the quarter hour mark when Al Gharafa midfielder Marc Bresciano was set up by Fortuna Düsseldorf’s Robbie Kruse to beat Amer Shafi in the Jordan goal. Australia didn’t manage to build on their lead until the second half when New York Red Bulls’ Tim Cahill headed the second in the 61st minute. Kruse notched up the third in the 76th minute and from then on it was plain sailing with Sydney FC defender Lucas Neill wrapping up the scoring in a scramble following a corner.
There were four crucial matches in the Asian section of the World Cup 2014 qualification tournament this week with the headline news being that Japan became the first team to secure their qualification. They cannot now be overtaken at the top of Group B following their draw with Australia and Oman‘s victory over Iraq. Japan had gone behind to a late goal from Tommy Oar, but they won a late penalty to equalise through Keisuke Honda and draw 1-1. Oman‘s 1-0 win over Iraq in Muscat came courtesy of an Ismail Al Ajmi goal in injury time at the end of the first half.
Any of the other four teams from Group B could still finish in second spot and seal automatic qualification for the finals behind the Japanese. Oman are in pole position on nine points but they have played a game more than the other three. The remaining fixtures are Australia v Jordan and Iran v Japan on Tuesday the 11th of June and Australia v Iraq and Jordan v Oman on Tuesday the 18th of June.
In Group A Qatar and Lebanon saw their hopes of automatic qualification ended and indeed Lebanon are now completely out as they can no longer even make the play off for the fifth spot following their 1-1 draw with South Korea in Beirut. Lebanon had looked set to win as they led for most of the match through Hassan Maatouk’s 12th minute strike but their hopes were dashed deep into injury time when Chi-Woo Kim equalised for the Koreans, who now top the group. Iran beat Qatar 1-0 away in Doha with a goal from Reza Ghoochannejhad to keep the pressure on South Korea and Uzbekistan at the top of the table. The remaining Group A fixtures are South Korea v Uzbekistan and Iran v Lebanon on Tuesday the 11th of June and South Korea v Iran and Uzbekistan v Qatar on Tuesday the 18th of June.
The current group tables are as follows:
Japan have become the first team to qualify for World Cup 2014 in Brazil following a 1-1 draw against Australia in Saitama. The point means that the Blue Samurai are now guaranteed to finish in one of the top two spots in Asian Qualifying Group B and can relax ahead of their final match away to Iraq next week. Japan could still be mathematically be pipped for first place in the group by the Iraqis, who can join them on 14 points if they win their last three games, starting with a visit to Oman later today, but it’s an unlikely scenario and won’t worry the Japanese too much even if it happens.
Australia now occupy second spot in the group with seven points from six games, ahead of Jordan only on goal difference and a point clear of Oman, with the Iraqis a point further back but having a game in hand on the latter three teams. The Socceroos know that they now have qualification in their own hands with two home matches against Jordan and Iraq left on the agenda and two wins will definitely seal their place in the finals.
It was a tight match in Saitama with both teams reluctant to take too many risks in the knowledge that a draw would be a decent result. Neither manager made a change until the 72nd minute when Australia introduced Dario Vidosic and Japan left it until ten minutes from time before shuffling their pack, but soon after they did so they fell behind to a Tommy Oar goal and responded by bringing on Havenaar and Kiyotake to push for an equaliser. Their late pressure paid off as Matt McKay handled inside his own box and Keisuke Honda smashed home the resultant penalty in injury time.
The Socceroo’s World Cup started disastrously with a 4-0 demolition by Germany in which star player Tim Cahill was harshly sent off by Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez. Australia found themselves a goal down as early as the eighth minute when Podolski scored and Klose doubled their deficit mid way through the first half. Cahill’s red card came at a time when Australia were starting too come into the game and create some decent chances. He went in for a tackle on Schweinsteiger but seemingly pulled out of the challenger when he realised he wouldn’t get the ball. However, the referee saw it differently and wielded the red card. A man down and Australia’s challenge in the game was over. The Germans used their advantage to rack up two more goals from Mueller and Cacau.
Next up it was Ghana and Australia, minus the suspended Cahill, started well, taking the lead in the 11th minute through Brett Holman. However, disaster struck again mid way through the half when Harry Kewell handled a shot on the line and was shown a straight red card. Ghana converted the penalty to level the scores and, as it turned out, round off the scoring in the match. One point from two games wasn’t anything to write home about, but it did give the Aussies a fighting chance of making the second round if other results went their way in the last group games.
They duly did their part in beating Serbia 2-1, with goals from the returning Tim Cahill and a second of the tournament for Brett Holman, but it wasn’t enough as Germany beat Ghana in the other match. Australia finished third in Group D on four points and went out on goal difference. Another three goals against Serbia would have seen them through but, at the end of the day, it was the thrashing by Germany that cost them. Perhaps it wouldn’t have happened if Cahill hadn’t been dismissed in that game, and had been available for the second game, but we’ll never know.
The Australian squad submitted to FIFA was as follows:
NUMBER – POSITION – NAME – AGE- CLUB
1 – GK – Mark SCHWARZER – 37 – Fulham
12 – GK – Adam FEDERICI – 25 – Reading
18 – GK – Brad JONES – 28 – Middlesbrough
2 – DF – Lucas NEILL – 32 – Galatasaray
3 – DF – Craig MOORE – 34 – no club affiliation
6 – DF – Michael BEAUCHAMP – 29 – Al Jazira
8 – DF – Luke WILKSHIRE – 28 – Dynamo Moscow
11 – DF – Scott CHIPPERFIELD – 34 – Basel
20 – DF – Mark MILLIGAN – 24 – JEF United Ichihara
21 – DF – David CARNEY – 26 – Twente Enschede
5 – MF – Jason CULINA – 29 – Gold Coast United
7 – MF – Brett EMERTON – 31 – Blackburn Rovers
13 – MF – Vince GRELLA – 30 – Blackburn Rovers
15 – MF – Mile JEDINAK – 25 – Antalyaspor
16 – MF – Carl VALERI – 25 – Sassuolo
22 – MF – Dario VIDOSIC – 23 – MSV Duisburg
4 – FW – Tim CAHILL – 30 – Everton
9 – FW – Joshua KENNEDY – 27 – Nagoya Grampus Eight
10 – FW – Harry KEWELL – 31 – Galatasaray
14 – FW – Brett HOLMAN – 26 – AZ Alkmaar
17 – FW – Nikita RUKAVYTSYA – 22 – Twente Enschede
19 – FW – Richard GARCIA – 28 – Hull City
23 – FW – Marco BRESCIANO – 30 – Palermo
Australia and Denmark faced each other in Roodepoort, South Africa in what was the second of each of their three-match World Cup warm up programmes. It was a tight and cagey affair, lacking in regular goalmouth action. The solitary strike came in the 71st minute when Australian striker Josh Kennedy latched on to a ball into the box to score from close in. It was the Nagoya Grampus striker’s seventh goal in eighteen appearances for the Socceroos and will do his case for a place in the regular starting line up no harm at all. The Danes weren’t able to muster up much of a response and the match ended 1-0.
Having beaten neighbours New Zealand 2-1 in their send-off match in Melbourne last week and dispatched Denmark today, Pim Verbeek’s on-form Australia squad next face the USA in Roodepoort on the 5th of June, eight days before taking on Germany in their first World Cup Group D fixture in Durban. With Harry Kewell set to return from injury, the signs are looking promising for the Socceroos.
Denmark beat Senegal 2-0 in their own send-off game in Aalborg five days ago and perhaps need slightly longer to acclimatise to the South Africa conditions following this result. Their last chance to fine tune their preparations comes against South Africa in Atteridgeville on the 5th of June, nine days before they take on Holland in their opening World Cup Group E fixture in Johannesburg. The hosts are in fine form and will provide a stern test for Morten Olsen’s men.
Australia 1-0 Denmark (01/06/2010)
46 Carney for Cahill
46 Valeri for Chipperfield
46 Holman for Garcia
73 Vidosic for Bresciano
73 Jedinak for Culina
76 Beauchamp for Moore
46 Poulsen for Jensen
46Rommedahl for Eriksen
62 Larsen for Enevoldsen
62 Gronkjaer for Tomasson
78 Jorgensen for Poulsen
82 Beckmann for Kahlenberg