Socceroos trounce Solomon Islands - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Socceroos trounce Solomon Islands

By Guy Hand 12/10/2004 11:28:42 PM Comments (0)

The Harry Kewell show lasted just 45 minutes - the benefits from the Socceroos' 6-0 thumping of the Solomon Islands in Sydney could last for the next two years.

Australian soccer now has a multi-million dollar windfall and a string of invaluable quality matches leading into its World Cup qualifying campaign after sealing a berth in the FIFA Confederations Cup in Germany next year.

The 11-1 aggregate thumping of the mismatched Solomon Islands in the two-legged Oceania Nations Cup final gives Australian soccer a guaranteed $2 million just for qualifying for the FIFA tournament.

And the guarantee of matches against big guns like Brazil and Germany when they get there will provide the Socceroos with the ammunition needed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup finals.

Kewell's long-awaited appearance on home soil lasted until halftime when coach Frank Farina substituted him after the Liverpool striker picked up a minor knock on the ankle.

It was a mixed match for Australia's most famous soccer export.

He scored a goal, he set up another, but missed a point-blank header with just the goalkeeper to beat.

After battling a groin injury which kept him out of the 5-1 opening leg romp in Honiara last weekend, Kewell's declaration he was fit enough to play helped drag in a crowd of nearly 20,000 to Aussie Stadium.

But the fans - probably doubled in number by Kewell's appearance - managed only a glimpse of the man who has made a habit of all-too-brief appearances in his country's shirt.

It was his first international appearance in three years, only his second in his home town and his first in Sydney since 1999.

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