With 28,149 fans at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night, a big crowd was on hand to cheer both the Socceroos and Serbia on. Serbia were looking to avenge their loss to Australia in the last World Cup in South Africa and the friendly between the two proved to be both entertaining and competitive. Even though the end result of 0-0 was not what either team had hoped for, it’s safe to say that the Socceroos are serious about their bid for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Australia began by attacking in the first five minutes with a few chances. The Socceroos made up of largely A League players were able to prove themselves and had to work a lot harder as big name players such as Harry Kewell, Tim Cahill and Mark Schwarzer were absent. Around the ten minute mark, the Serbian team started to settle and take possession of the game by creating several scoring chances. By the 25th minute, both teams were on equal footing and evenly divided.
Australia were coming off an easy win against New Zealand last week, but quickly found that Serbia are a much more difficult opponent with technically superior ball skills. Towards the end of the half, it was end to end football with both teams creating plenty of scoring chances. The half time score finished at nil-all.
Serbia started the second half with some close scoring chances quickly and impressively saved by keeper Adam Federici. At the 57th minute a bold decision was made by Coach Holger Osieck to sub off Australia’s three most experienced players on the field Neil, Emerton and Wilkshire. At the 65th minute Kruse came on for Archie Thompson.
After some late chances in the game from both sides, the game finished a nil-all draw. The Socceroos were able to show and prove to fans that they are serious about the upcoming 2014 World Cup.