Double bonus for Socceroos trio - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Double bonus for Socceroos trio

By Guy Hand 13/02/2006 07:36:18 PM Comments (0)

A home A-League grand final, plus a week to give their undivided attention to securing a spot in the Socceroos' World Cup finals campaign.

That's the dual bonus on offer for Sydney FC's David Carney and Alvin Ceccoli or Adelaide United's Mike Valkanis if their respective sides can secure victory in the second leg of the major semi-final at Aussie Stadium on Sunday.

With two away goals courtesy of Sunday's 2-2 first leg draw in Adelaide in Sydney FC's back pocket, Carney and Ceccoli's side goes into the return leg with a huge advantage in securing a home grand final a fortnight later.

As importantly for Carney and Ceccoli, they would also head to Bahrain for the Socceroos' Asian Cup qualifier on Wednesday week without having to back up four days later for the A-League preliminary final.

Valkanis, who has also been named in the Socceroos' squad, needs Adelaide to conjure a victory at Aussie Stadium to ensure he is the beneficiary of a more relaxed schedule.

It could be the start of a huge fortnight for any of the three, with Carney particularly excited about the prospects ahead.

The 22-year-old attacking midfielder has been among the A-League's revelations this season, returning from a stint at English club Everton to become one of the fledgling league's most exciting players.

"Everyone keeps saying it's an under-strength Socceroos squad, but when you think of it, the spots are up for grabs," Carney said.

"One good game in Bahrain could be enough to prove to (Socceroos coach) Guus Hiddink that you're good enough to go (to Germany)."

Of the prospect of winning home ground advantage for the A-League grand final, Carney said: "The 2-2 was a good result for us - it gives us the upper hand, especially playing at home.

"We've really gelled lately, and I think it's shown by how we've been playing.

"We went out and played well against Perth, played well against Adelaide and now we're on a bit of a roll."

Sydney FC also has four players facing the prospect of missing the grand final should it advance on Sunday, with Dwight Yorke, Sasho Petrovski, Ruben Zadkovich and Mark Milligan needing to avoid yellow cards.

All four were booked on Sunday and with two yellow cards meaning a one-match ban, none can afford another booking if Sydney FC seals victory.

The loser of the Sydney-Adelaide match will meet the winner of the Central Coast-Newcastle elimination final in the preliminary final.

The Mariners hold a 1-0 advantage going into Friday night's return leg at Central Coast Stadium.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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