A host of Socceroos named in Australia’s squad to take on Ecuador in mid-week had one last chance to push their credentials for a starting berth at The Den.
A host of Socceroos named in Australia-s squad to take on Ecuador in mid-week had one last chance to push their credentials for a starting berth at The Den. Meanwhile some players who missed out on the latest national squad also gave coach Ange Postecoglou some food for thought.
Winger Tommy Oar was the standout performer, scoring a peach of a goal for club side FC Utrecht in the Dutch Eredivisie. The 22-year-old darted through midfield, evading a couple of defenders before unleashing a powerful drive past an outstretched goalkeeper and into the bottom corner of the net. The goal was his first of the campaign and earned his side a share of the points.
Mile Jedinak continues to fly the flag in the English Premier League, with the Crystal Palace captain having played every minute of the league season to date. The Eagles picked up a valuable point at Swansea as they continue their remarkable climb out of the relegation zone since Christmas. Having named a relatively young squad to tackle Ecuador, Jedinak is no doubt one player Postecoglou will be counting on to boss the midfield.
Matthew Leckie will be hoping he is given the chance to lead the line and he certainly did his case no harm, setting up a goal in FSV Franfurt-s clash in the second tier of the German Bundesliga. While his side ultimately succumbed to a 3-2 defeat, the 23-year-old has notched a promising return of six goals from 20 appearances so far this season.
Mat Ryan was the only goalkeeper in the squad to see any action and managed to keep a cleansheet for Club Brugge. Ryan is the incumbent Socceroos No.1, having taken over Mark Schwarzer-s mantle for the match against Costa Rica. It will be interesting to see if Postecoglou decides to stick with the former Mariner or give some game time to Brad Jones or Mitch Langerak who-ve spent the majority of their respective seasons as understudies.
In Asia, Josh Kennedy sent a reminder of his goal scoring pedigree, when he found the back of the net for Nagoya Grampus. Kennedy helped his side to a half time in the opening round of the J-League season but his side ultimately went down after fading in the second half.
On the coaching frontier Graham Arnold had his first game in charge of Vengalta Sendai. The former Central Coast boss seeing his side go down 2-1 at home on matchday one. Arnold may yet have a new custodian to add to his squad for the season, with transfer rumours today linking Perth Glory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic with a move to Japan. UPCOMING MATCH DETAILS: Socceroos v Ecuador The Den, London Wednesday 5 March 2014 8pm kick off (6 March 7.00am AEDT)
The Socceroos v Ecuador match will be broadcast LIVE and Exclusive on FOX Sports 3 with a 30-minute pre-game show starting at 6.30am (AEDT) ahead of the 7.00am kick off.
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