June 5, 2011
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – A brace of goals from Josh Kennedy helped Australia to a 3-0 win over a battling All Whites in trying conditions at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday night.
The striker scored in the 9th and 59th minutes to help the Socceroos seize control of the game and an injury time penalty from James Troisi proved the icing on the cake for a rain-soaked 21,000 strong crowd at the home of South Australian cricket.
Despite the identical score line to Thursday’s loss to Mexico at altitude in Denver, it was a much improved performance from the All Whites, although their line up had the same youthful influence.
Among the fresher faces, there were strong games from Michael Boxall playing in his favoured central defence role and Jeremy Brockie filling in as a make shift left back, as Herbert played a flat back four for the first time since qualifying for the World Cup in late 2009.
Michael Fitzgerald and Aaron Clapham got more minutes in the second half and there was a international debut for substitute goalkeeper Jake Gleeson, while a Marco Rojas cameo added spark as coach Ricki Herbert used a total of nine players aged 24 or under including starters Chris Wood, Michael McGlinchey and Kosta Barbarouses.
The only blot of Brockie’s copybook was a lofted back pass that put Glen Moss under pressure and combined with Moss’ poor touch on an increasing slippery surface allowed Kennedy to round the keeper and slot into an empty net.
“We probably didn’t need the start we had,” said Herbert.
“I thought we gifted them a goal and that was the last thing we needed off the back of the travel.”
Hebert was using the whirlwind tour to shape his thinking ahead of next year’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers although a raft of injuries forced the New Zealand coach to look wider than he had initially hoped. Still, Herbert was pleased with some of the positives to come out of the match.
“I’ve got more players that I can be proud of. I think there were a few who really stood up and performed well.
“I thought Jeremy Brockie was excellent tonight. We put him in at left back but have we found a right back? We’ve struggled for four years to find somebody and maybe he’s an option.
“Ben Sigmund is always a heart on the sleeve player – he’s never going to let you down. I thought he was the pick of the senior players. And you see the potential of players like Kosta Barbarouses and Marco Rojas who will benefit from another 18 months of investment and exposure at this level. Marco had defenders treading water at times.
“It’s good character building for this group. We’ve got nine or ten players who have had very little international exposure and they are going to be stronger for the opportunity. I can’t do anything about the 14 odd players that aren’t here. Australia have got three or four missing as well but the reality is we don’t have a squad of 23 to pick from at the moment.”
The All Whites’ programme for the remainder of the year will take shape after the preliminary draw for the FIFA World Cup on July 30. The path for the winner of Oceania qualifying may yet go through a playoff with Asia, North America or South America and Herbert indicated that he the All Whites would seek out relevant opposition once the full route of World Cup qualifying is known.
The All Whites are scheduled to begin their path to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in June next year in stage two of Oceania qualifying which features home and away ties against the top three teams from this year’s Pacific Games.
Sunday 5 June
Australia 3 (Josh KENNEDY 9’, 59’; James TROISI pen 90+3’)
New Zealand 0
New Zealand: 1-Glen MOSS (GK / 18-Jake GLEESON 77’), 4-Ben SIGMUND, 8-Tim BROWN (c / 23-David MULLIGAN 85’), 9-Shane SMELTZ, 10-Chris KILLEN, 11-Kosta BARBAROUSES, 14-Michael McGLINCHEY (19-Marco ROJAS 56’), 15-Andrew BOYENS (13-Michael FITZGERALD 46’), 16-Michael BOXALL, 20-Chris WOOD (17-Aaron CLAPHAM 63’), 22-Jeremy BROCKIE.
Substitutes not used: 12-Mark PASTON (rgk).
Coach: Ricki HERBERT
Cautions: Jeremy BROCKIE 49’
Australia: 18-Nathan COE (gk), 3-Michael ZULLO (17-Matthew McKAY 69’), 7-Brett EMERTON (22-Dario VIDOSIC 46’), 8-Luke WILKSHIRE (5-Rhys WILLIAMS 46’), 9-Josh KENNEDY (10-Alex BROSQUE 60’), 11-James TROISI, 14-Brett HOLMAN (23-Robbie KRUSE 46’), 16-Carl VALERI (13-Mark MILLIGAN 65’),, 19-Neil KILKENNY, 20-Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 21-Jonathan McKAIN.
Substitutes not used: 1-Adam FEDERICI (rgk), 2-Lucas NEILL, 4-Archie THOMPSON, 6-Sasa OGNENOVSKI, 12-Mitchell LANGERAK (rgk), 15-Mile JEDINAK.
Coach: Holger OSIECK
Cautions: Josh KENNEDY 51’