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Wollongong connection wins it for the Socceroos against Uzbekistan

SCOTT CHIPPERFIELD got the only goal of the game thanks to a pin-point cross from fellow Wollongong Boy Luke Wilkshire for his second assist in as many games. This was a perfect start for Pim’s boys as they confidently put Uzbekistan away for a 1-0 win in Tashkent.

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Uzbekistan had not lost at home in 18 World Cup qualifiers but Chipperfield’s 26th-minute header ended the streak and possible the Uzbeki’s World Cup hopes.

Australia needed to win to as it was already playing catch-up against Japan and Qatar as they had already posted wins the week before. This win puts them in a good position to take top spot if they can defeat Qatar at home in Brisbane in a months time.

It was a fantastic performance from the Socceroos who have grown more confident with every game under Pim Verbeek. They did well to adjust to some late changes to the lineup as a few members of the squad were struck down with food poisoning.

Josh Kennedy, Jason Culina, David Carney and Jade North were notable absentees due to the stomach bug and tactical changes but the boys who stepped infor them did the job to perfection.

Uzbekistan coach Inileev made wholesale changes to the team that got thumped 3-0 to Qatar by leaving some of his stars on the bench.

The game started off slowly with each team probing the opposing defences. Pim Verbeek expected the Uzbeki’s to come out firing in the first 20-minutes and ordered hs men to hold them at bay but this never eventuated.

Thing only got better for the Socceroos when Luke Wilkshire received a pass from Brett Emerton on right and toe-poked it past the defender to the byline, he then delivered a perfect cross for Chipperfield to head into the inside of the top left-hand post for what would prove to be the winning goal.

Bresciano will look back with dissapointment when he should have scored his 11th goal for Australia just before haf-time. Harry Kewell put the ball through to him to create a one-on-one chance with the keeper but he fired just wide of the post.

Uzbekistan turned the game around in the second half with some constant attacking football. They almost equalised when Wilkshire cleared Hasanov’s strike off the line.

Australia was sitting back at this stage copping wave after wave of Uzebi attacks but the Aussie defence was more than capable thanks to Neill and Coyne.

Verbeek brought on Carney, Sterjovski and Bruce Djite late in the second half to replace some weary legs.

Carney should have made it 2-0 when he should have been more selfish by going straight for goal instead of passing to Holman.

Uzbekistan 0
Australia 1 (Chipperfield 26)

See all the highlights, goals and action of Uzbekistan versus Australia from Tashkent below.

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Real Football

Published on September 11, 2008

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