Socceroos leaves Greeks in ruins - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Socceroos leaves Greeks in ruins

By Guy Hand 26/05/2006 06:18:12 AM Comments (0)

The Socceroos jet off to Europe with the European champion's scalp and a boost of confidence ahead of next month's World Cup finals.

They farewelled Australia with an impressive 1-0 victory over Greece at the MCG on Thursday night, a stunning Josip Skoko strike proving the decider.

Australia dominated throughout, the Greeks showing little to excite the large Hellenic support among the 95,000-plus crowd - a record attendance for a home Socceroos international.

But coach Guus Hiddink declared himself only "70 per cent happy" with the result against the Euro 2004 champion and warned Australia would need to produce a similar effort for 90 minutes to conjure the upsets it will need in Germany to advance beyond the group stage.

"In the first part of the second half, we did not have the same control we did in the first half," Hiddink said.

"We still need to work a lot. When you compete at World Cup level, you must maintain control for the whole of the game.

"Overall it was good and I don't want to be pessimistic but I am always looking at what we can improve."

The Socceroos fly out of Melbourne on Friday afternoon for Holland and another training camp ahead of their next warm-up game against the Dutch in Rotterdam on June 4.

Liverpool star Harry Kewell, who did not travel to Australia because of a groin injury, is set to link up with his teammates in Holland.

Swiss-based attacking midfielder Mile Sterjovski stepped in for Kewell against Greece and impressed.

But Hiddink would not say who would be Kewell's replacement if he was not fit to play Japan in the World Cup opener.

"We'll see each other in Holland and we'll see how it goes. I don't have any doubts about the player who will be his substitute if he is not fit," he said.

"I didn't play Harry Kewell in the second game against Uruguay from the start because he was in the same position with his physical condition - coming back from an injury.

"It might be possible he is a part of the game (against Japan), not from the start.

"It's difficult not having played a full game and then coming into an important game with two or three days' full training.

"But it's too early to judge now."

Other injury concerns John Aloisi (foot), Tim Cahill (knee) and Joshua Kennedy (Achilles) are expected to be fit for selection against the Dutch.

Australia's World Cup opener is against Japan on June 12 after a final warm-up against Liechtenstein on June 7.

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