Australia vs. Malaysia  5 - 0


Malaysia confident of halting Aussie charge

6 October 2011 15:35

Malaysia may be ranked 147th in the world but they believe they can halt 2011 Asian Cup runners-up Australia in their friendly on Friday.

Australia, who are ranked 19th in the world, are using the Malaysia game as preparation for Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Oman in Sydney.

However 2010 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Cup winners Malaysia believe they should not be underestimated by the Australians, with goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat full of belief ahead of the game.

"It is obvious that Australia has a massive squad, largely due to the fact that they have European-based players," he told Utusan Malaysia.

"Their physical attributes might prove to be a tough job for us but I have absolute confidence in our backline and I believe that we are more than capable of halting the Australians."

"We will be increasing our communication on the field when we take on the Socceroos and hopefully we will be able to close them down and maybe even nick a goal."

Malaysia coach K. Rajagopal, who led the team to their 2010 AFF Cup success and is preparing them for the 2012 tournament, is without four key players, including skipper Safiq Rahim, but said he wanted to see how deep his squad is.

"This is the time for me to test the depth of my squad but those four players will not be going on an exile from my squad," Rajagopal told Berita Harian.

"I'm just planning to use my squad and I'm giving those four a chance to increase their form because when the Malaysia Cup campaign resumes, they will need to showcase their true potential to the fullest. Basically, it's for the good as well."

Australia coach Holger Osieck told reporters on Thursday it would not be an easy game.

"I think Malaysia are a good opponent for us because they have a similar style as Thailand and we can see like in our first qualifier, these games are not easy," Osieck said.

"It's a different type of football, and I think, down the road, we have to prepare for any style of football. These games are always more a lose-lose situation because basically they are under-rated by the wider public."

"But I always stress the important of these games ... for the development of the team."


Japan boosts Aussie strikeforce

5 October 2011 07:09

Australian strikers Josh Kennedy and Alex Brosque has credited Japan's J.League for some of the best form of their careers.

The pair was speaking in Sydney ahead of Australia's friendly with Malaysia in Canberra on Friday, and a World Cup qualifier with Oman in Sydney on Tuesday.

Kennedy, 29, joined Nagoya Grampus in 2009 and has scored 15 times this term, leading them to third place in the J.League, and the 194cm front man has been in sterling form for the Australian national side as well.

He has scored three goals in the Socceroos last two World Cup qualifiers, and Kennedy said his time in Japan, after nine years plying his trade in Germany, has improved his international form.

"I've been enjoying my football," Kennedy said. "I missed a couple of games at the start of the season, since then 90 minutes every game. I think I've been a good, consistent performer this year."

"The last couple of years since I changed to Japan I think I've found my feet and improved as a player as well. I think it has a lot to do with confidence. I'm involved in things, I'm scoring goals, and it's enjoyable."

Despite starting and scoring in Australia's past two World Cup qualifiers, Kennedy said he was still very much playing to shore up his place in the squad.

"Obviously every game I get a chance to impress and try and cement that position. I think I've done well," he said.

Brosque, meanwhile, is close to the end of his first season in the J.League with Shimizu S-Pulse, after five years at Sydney FC, and the 27-year-old, who has seven goals for his new club, said he has been reinvigorated by the change of scenery.

"Looking back now (on the move), it's been a good one so far," Brosque said.

"I've managed to play every game this season which is good for me, and the coach over there has shown a lot of faith in me."

"We've got a couple of games left and hopefully I can have a good break in the off-season and do the same thing next year."

"We play more of a 4-2-3-1 formation and I guess I've been one of the two in midfield."

"It's something new, something I've never really been used as before but at the same time, playing with one striker and (as) a target man, that's not my ideal role either."

"So I had to find somewhere new and it happened to be in midfield."

"It's worked out alright, like I said I've played every game and managed to score a few goals form there as well."

"It's been enjoyable, I get a lot more touches on the ball. (I'm) just able to sort of drift around the park and have a bit more influence on a game."

Brosque managed to score the sealer in Shimizu's 2-0 victory over Nagoya on Sunday, and the striker said he made sure his Socceroos team-mate Kennedy knew all about it after the final whistle.

"He tried to give me a bit of stick during the game so after it I made sure I gave him a little bit," he said. "It was good fun to play them, good to obviously beat them at home as well."

"It's good to try and get one over him."


Osieck clears way for Emerton-Kewell date

27 September 2011 04:45

Brett Emerton can play in Sydney FC's A-League opener at Melbourne Victory after being left out of the Socceroos squad by Holger Osieck.

Australia manager Osieck made the extraordinary decision to leave Emerton out of the squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Oman and the preceding friendly against Malaysia, clearing the way for him to make his A-League debut for Sydney FC in the first round of the season.

There had been much conjecture about how Oseick would fit Emerton into his plans given the level of expectation over the clash between Emerton and new Victory signing Harry Kewell on the first day of the new A-League season at Etihad Stadium on October 8.

It was expected Emerton would miss the friendly against Malaysia in Canberra before joining the squad for the match against Oman in Sydney on Tuesday, October 11.

But Osieck left both he and Kewell out of the 19-man squad, which feature few other surprises.

UAE-based Lucas Neill captains the side, while mainstays Mark Schwarzer, Brett Holman and Tim Cahill are also named. Dutch-based midfielder Adam Sarota gets his chance to improve on his single cap, but team-mate Tommy Oar and Middlesbrough striker Scott McDonald miss selection.

There are four East Asian-based players named, Josh Kennedy, Matt Spiranovic, Sasa Ognenovski and Alex Brosque, while the rest of the squad - bar Neill - plays in Europe.

Socceroos squad: Alex Brosque, Tim Cahill, Adam Federici (Gk), Brett Holman, Mile Jedinak, Josh Kennedy, Neil Kilkenny, Robbie Kruse, Matthew McKay, Lucas Neill, Sasa Ognenovski. Adam Sarota, Mark Schwarzer (GK), Matthew Spiranovic, James Troisi, Carl Valeri, Luke Wilkshire, Rhys Williams, Michael Zullo.