Olyroos down NZ 2-0 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Olyroos down NZ 2-0

26/01/2004 07:35:17 PM Comments (0)

The Olyroos are on track to qualify for the Athens Olympics after downing New Zealand 2-0 in the first leg of their Oceania play-off soccer series at Parramatta Stadium.

The Australian under 23s dominated for much of the match but it took two goals in the final 13 minutes to give the Olyroos some breathing space going into Friday's return leg in Auckland.

The introduction of attacking midfielder Nick Carle in the 62nd minute proved a turning point for the home side which did everything but score in the opening 76 minutes.

Substitute defender Jonathan McKain, who came on for injured captain Ljubo Milicevic after 16 minutes scored the opener from point blank range after a kick through in the goal square by Brett Holman.

The decisive goal came six minutes later after good lead-up work by Carle was finished by pacey midfielder Ahmad Elrich who crunched home a goal from 10 metres out.

But the home side should have won by a rugby score after having three shots hit the crossbar, a grab bag were missed at close range and two penalties were not awarded in the first half.

Referee Charles Ariiotima contributed to a goalless first stanza was some ordinary decisions.

Striker Dylan Macallister had his shirt pulled by defender Rupesh Puna in the box after 27 minutes while Holman's progress was impeded four minutes from halftime by Timothy Brown.

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