Thursday, September 11, 2008
Socceroos Triumph in Tashkent
In a stirring performance the Socceroos have started their world cup campaign in winning fashion. A headed goal from left back Scott Chiperfield was all that was needed for Australia to edge past a somewhat unknown but highly fancied Uzbekistan side.
The goal came from an inch perfect cross supplied by utility midfielder Luke Wilkshire who did well to beat a scrambling Uzbeki defense. The game might have been sewn up by half time if not for a charitable effort from Mark Bresciano spraying wide from close range after being put through by Brett Holman.
The second half was a different story though with several chances gifted to the home team. Australia's defense held strong though with realtive newcomer Chris Coyne partenering Lucas Neil well, frustrating a talented attack until the final whistle.
Any win is vital in Australia's campaign to secure a second successive world cup finals berth, but an away win against one of the groups heavy weights is a luxury they will cherish. Also promising was the successful pairing of Carle Valeri and Jacob Burns as holding mid feilders, the latter only getting the call up hours before kickoff with expected starter Jason Culina falling ill.
Game Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBLYnztyOFM
With the opening game won our next opponents are Qatar in Brisbane, a team that upset Uzbekistan recently but one beaten 3-0 at home and 3-1 away in the first group stage. The away win puting the Aussies into this round of qualifying and to review the matches, they shouldn't give too much trouble this time around.