ASA: The Socceroos completed a hard-fought 1-0 over a South African side ranked 39th in the world in the friendly international played at Loftus Rd in London this morning.
Marco Bresciano scored the game’s only goal in the 19th minute with a text-book volley from 10 yards with what was his second goal in three games for the Socceroos.
South Africa, who has appeared in the last two World Cups, provided stout opposition for the Australians in what was a fast-paced match.
The match was notable for the long-awaited appearance of Tim Cahill in the green and gold. Cahill coming on as substitute for Bresciano in the 75th minute after recently being granted permission by FIFA to represent Australia having previously played in an official competition match at youth level for Samoa as a 14-year-old. Cahill will attempt to complete a dream week and potentially join just a handful of Australians to have appeared in an FA Cup Final when his Millwall team play against Sunderland in the FA Cup semi final on Sunday.
The next outing for the Socceroos will be when they play in Australia for the first time since their World Cup qualifier against Uruguay in November 2001, as they take on 2002 FIFA World Cup semi-finalist Turkey at Aussie Stadium in Sydney on Friday 21 May and at the Telstra Dome in Melbourne on Monday 24 May.
The matches will be played immediately prior to Stage 2 of
the OFC World Cup qualifying tournament (also doubles as stage 2 of the Oceania Nations Cup) which will be held in Australia between 29 May and 6 June 2004.
Australia 1 (Marco Bresciano 19′)
South Africa 0
AUSTRALIA: Mark Schwarzer; Lucas Neill, Craig Moore, Tony Popovic, Stan Lazaridis; Josip Skoko, Marco Bresciano (Tim Cahill 75′), Scott Chipperfield, Brett Emerton (Mile Sterjovski 75′); Harry Kewell (David Zdrilic 64′), Mark Viduka (John Aloisi 64′).
SOUTH AFRICA: Hans Vonk; Thabang Molefe, Bradley Carnell (Nasief Morris 33′), Aaron Mokoena, Mbulelo Mabizela, Bennet Mguni (Lance Davids 59′), Stephen Pienaar (Benedict Vilakazi 74′), Siyabonga Nomvete, Sbusiso Zuma, Delron Buckley, Shaun Bartlett
Referee: Mark Halsey (Eng)