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China too good for future Socceroos

Socceroos world cup qualifying

AUSTRALIA has been defeated 1-0 in their final group 1 World Cup qualifying match against China in front of over 70,000 Sydney-Siders. China’s Sun Xiang 12th-minute shot from outside the box was the only goal of the entertaining dead-rubber football match.

Highlights: Australia v China

AFC: Complete and final Group Standings

Final round of qualifying explained

China should have secured all three points in the 76th minute when Zheng Zhi missed China’s second penalty in a month against the Socceroos . The referee ordered the initial kick to be retaken after he slotted into the top corner.

This was amazingly Australia’s first home defeat in a World Cup qualifying match since losing to New Zealand in 1981. New Zealand went on to represent Oceania at the World Cup in 1982 which was hosted by Spain.

Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek used the opportunity to rest his first team and give some of the youngsters a run as passage to the next phase of World Cup qualifying has been secured.

China did little to impress against the Socceroo 2nd XI but Xiang got the points in the 12th-minute when Ruben Zadkovich cleared straight to him. He took a touch before using his left foot to direct the ball into the bottom corner of the goal.

Bruce Djite could have scored his first goal for the green and gold in the 20th minute when Captain Harry Kewell made a run down the right flank. Kewell crossed the ball into the path of Djite but he couldn’t get a piece of it

A few minutes later, some bad communication between Zadkovich and goalkeeper Michael Petkovich resulted in an illegal back pass just metres from goal but this opportunity was wasted by the Chinese.

At this stage the Australian team started to gel a little and created a few chances before the half-time break when Mile Jedinak went close with a header and James Troisi went through on goal but his low cross was scrambled away for a corner kick.

Carl Valeri hit a scorcher from 30 metres out but it was fisted away by keeper Song Zhan-yu.

Bruce Djite could have done better with a volley in the closing stages of the first-half after Kewel’s slotted pass put him through on goal but he shot over the bar.

In the 76th minute, Zadkovich conceded a terrible penalty when he fouled Gao Lin with his back to goal. It was a poor tackle from the in-experienced Derby-bound winger, but it didn’t cost his team as Zheng Zi missed from the spot after the referee asked him to retake the kick.

Now that the first phase of qualifying is behind them, Australia will begin the final section of Asia’s World Cup qualifying in September this year when they will be one of ten nations left remaining in Asia with a chance of making it South Africa in 2010.

Written by
Real Football

Published on June 22, 2008

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