THE QANTAS Olyroos notched up a resounding 6-0 victory in impressive style over the Singapore U23s in a training game in wet and windy conditions at Blacktown Olympic Park this afternoon.
The training match was originally scheduled to be played on Sunday at Bluetongue Stadium, but due to heavy showers on the Central Coast, the match was rescheduled to Blacktown Olympic Park today.
Watched by Socceroos coach Holger Osieck, FFA technical director Han Berger and Olyroos coaches Aurelio Vidmar and assistant Paul Okon, the Olyroos got off to the perfect start.
Kofi Danning found himself unmarked, and with the ball, inside the penalty box in the 6th minute. Danning drove his shot from an acute angle into the goal giving the Singaporean goalkeeper, Izwan Bin Mahbud, little chance of saving.
Aaron Mooy doubled the lead in the 14th minute after he dribbled into the box following a pass from Matthew Foschini. Mooy then neatly slotted home from close range.
The Olyroos continued to dominate for the remainder or the first half and Mooy had a very good chance to double his tally just after the half hour mark but his cracking long range shot was just marginally wide of the target.
Singapore’s best chance to reduce the deficit occurred just before half time when their captain, Hariss Harun, hit a left footed shot which produced a fine save out of Olyroos goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis.
The second half saw Singapore start brightly but the Olyroos soon regained their dominant possession and in the 52nd minute they extended their lead when Rocco Visconte set-up Jason Hoffman for him to side-footed into the goal from inside the six-yard box.
Three minutes later Marko Jesic added his name to the score sheet when he was played in from a quick free kick and then unleashed a 25-yeard bomb into the top right-hand corner of the goal.
On the hour mark Olyroos coach Aurelio Vidmar made seven changes to his team to rest some players and give others a much needed run.
In the 69th minute one of those substitutes, Mustafa Amini, scored a similar goal to Jesic’s from general play after a good period of build-up. Amini’s well-struck long range shot hitting the under-side of the crossbar before it billowed out the back of the net.
The scoring was completed in the final minute of the match when Aziz Behich took on three defenders down the left side, cut back inside and then carefully placed his shot into the goal out of reach of the diving Singaporean goalkeeper.
After the match, Vidmar was less concerned with the final score line, and more happy with the solid hit-out in the lead-up to this weekend’s Olympic Qualifier against Yemen.
“It was frustrating not to play on Sunday afternoon due to the rain, but full credit to the Blacktown City Council and Blacktown Olympic Park to host this match at very short notice,” said Vidmar.
“Going into today’s match it was very important for us to have a good work-out leading into our matches against Yemen.
“Although the score was a little flattering I was very pleased with the way we played and the intensity that we played at for the whole 90 minutes.
“It was also good to see some of the younger players who haven’t played much with us to get some valuable game time and they all fitted in very well.
“We will now continue our preparations and really focus on the upcoming matches against Yemen.”
The Olyroos will continue to train on the Central Coast for the rest of the week to prepare for their two matches against Yemen on June 19 June (Gosford) and June 23 (Newcastle).
The Olyroos need to win these two matches on aggregate to progress to the next round of qualification which sees the 12 winners from Round 2 divided into three groups of four teams each.
The teams in each group will then play in a home-and-away format from September 21, to March 14, with the winner of each group directly qualifying for London 2012.
The three second-placed teams from the third round will clash in a playoff at a centralised venue from March 25 to 29, 2012, and the winners of this group will meet the representatives of CAF (Africa) for a berth in the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Olyroos 6 (Kofi Danning 6’, Aaron Mooy 14’, Jason Hoffman 52’, Marko Jesic 55’, Mustafa Amini 69’, Aziz Behich 90’)
Singapore U23 0
Referee: Kurt Ams
Blacktown Olympic Park, Rooty Hill
Assistant Referees: Scott Edeling & Murray Wilson
Fourth Official: Kevin Peddie
Olyroos line-up: 18.Dean Bouzanis (gk) (1.Andrew Redmayne (gk) 46’), 2.Sebastian Ryall (3.Ryan McGowan 61’), 4.Matthew Jurman (19.Sam Gallagher 61’), 5. Aziz Behich, 6.Oliver Bozanic (c) (13.Diogo Ferreira 61’), 8.Aaron Mooy, 9.Jason Hoffman, 11.Rocco Visconte (16.Mustafa Amini 61’), 14.Marko Jesic (21.Matthew Fletcher 61’), 17.Kofi Danning, 20.Matthew Foschini (15.Scott Neville 61’)
Substitutes not used:, 12.Mark Birighitti (gk)
Yellow Cards: Jason Hoffman 56’
Red Cards: Nil
Singapore U23 line-up: 1.Izwan Bin Mahbud (gk), 2.Fazil Bin Ayob (15.Lou Zhenlun Eugene 53’), 3.Safuwan Bin Baharudin, 6.Shahir Bin Hamzah (4.Afiq Bin Yunos 58’), 7.Faris Bin Ramil (22.Navin Nigel Vanu 46’), 9.Khairul Nizam (8.Nazrul Bin Ahmad Nazari 46’), 10.Irwan Shah Bin Arismail, 14.Hariss Harun (c), 20.Firdaus Bin Kasman (5.Fairoz Bin Hasan 66’), 21.Ruzaini Bin Zainal (23.Ong Yu Min Emmeric 46’), 24.Shahdan Bin Sulaiman
Substitutes not used: 13. Zulfahmi Bin Mohd Arifin, 16.Ignatius Ang Yu Heng, 17.Safirul Bin Sulaiman, 18.Chan Yuhui (gk), 19. Abdul Hadi Othman, 30.Syazwan Bin Buhari (gk).
Yellow Cards: Faris Bin Ramil 15’, Shahir Bin Hamzah 35, Navin Nigel Vanu 49’
Red Cards: Nil