To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

[P.O Box 13, Honiara, Solomon Islands/ Email: Tel:+677 7424025]

Welcome to the TARD Homepage...{Sore lea tale oe uri fula lamu mai la biu ne'e TARD}...TARD is To'abaita's rural voice on the web

Monday, June 05, 2006

Socceroos drew 1-1 with Netherlands in friendly

By Stuart Watt in Rotterdam

Goalkeeping heroics and a goal from a returning star have helped a 10-man Socceroos side to a 1-1 draw with the Netherlands in their World Cup warm-up match in Rotterdam.

Mark Schwarzer was outstanding in Australia's goal as the Dutch dominated large parts of the game.

Ruud van Nistelrooy put the home side deservedly ahead after 10 minutes, but his strike was cancelled out when Australian midfielder Tim Cahill scored, following up after his skipper Mark Viduka's penalty had hit the crossbar.

It was Cahill's first touch after coming on as a substitute in the 52nd minute for his first top-class competitive match since injuring his knee playing for Everton in the English Premier League in April.

Shortly after Australia pulled level they were reduced to 10 men when Luke Wilkshire was shown a second yellow card for a clumsy, two-footed challenge on defender Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

Wilkshire was unlucky, making the tackle a moment after the ball had rebounded back into play off the corner flag, catching both players off guard.

After the game Australian coach Guus Hiddink said the Socceroos had stepped up a gear from their victory over Greece at the MCG.

"Greece is a team that is totally different to the Dutch team. Greece, they don't compete at high speed, on a high level - especially when they are almost on holiday.

"But in this performance you could see that the team has improved in technical discipline and that was very good to see," he said.

Hiddink praised his players for not allowing the home side to dictate play.

"The players did very well to get them [the Dutch] frustrated which we could do in a big part of the game. Nevertheless we were having some sloppy moments and those sloppy moments I don't like.

"But in general, we worked very hard in also getting the opponent under control and that's a big improvement."

Viduka was happy with the way his team played.

"It's a great result because we've got a little bit of a closeness to Holland lately because we stay a lot here and also with [Dutch born coaches] Guus and Johan involved and I think they were happy to get a good result against them," he said.

"Today we had a slow start - we weren't expecting that. We were expecting them to come at us, but it took us a while to get into the game. Once we did that, I thought we looked quite good.

"They caught us with that goal early and to be fair to them they had a few chances as well after that but all in all I think as a match against the second-ranked team in the world - I think it was a good result."

Viduka said Schwarzer "saved" the Australians, but after the match the goalkeeper refused to talk up his form.

"I'm happy with how I played and the rest of it's up to the manager to decide what he's going to do... I'll let my performances do the talking," he said.

The goalkeeper said the match was an important stepping stone on the road to the World Cup finals.

"Today was important to get a good run out, to put on a good performance and get confidence from the game."


Three Dutch players were injured in the dramatic match, which was Australia's penultimate warm-up ahead of their first World Cup game against Japan on June 12.

Viduka brushed suggestions the Australians were too rough.

"I think a couple of them were a bit aggressive at the start as well. It happens in football - a couple of their players got injured and on another day they might not have," he said.

The Netherlands, who started with their first-choice team, were simply too quick for the Australians in the opening stages.

To the delight of the sold-out crowd, they took the lead when Andre Ooijer's shot was blocked by Schwarzer only for van Nistelrooy to net the rebound.

The third-ranked hosts, with wingers Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie in good form, had several scoring chances which were rebuffed by Schwarzer who was in outstanding form.

Philip Cocu was the first Dutch player to limp off 10 minutes before the break.

Wesley Sneijder and van Bronckhorst also joined the injury list in the second period.

Cahill's equaliser came after Viduka won a penalty when he was fouled by Joris Mathijsen after being superbly played in behind the Dutch defence by Wilkshire.

The 10-man Socceroos fought off last minute challenges, including a heart-stopping free-kick in the 90th minute from van Persie which hit the right-hand post.

- Additional reporting by Reuters


Copyright©2006-2010 To'abaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD). All rights reserved