It’s been more than four years since the Socceroos last turned out at Adelaide Oval, a friendly against New Zealand on June 5, 2011. And a local boy did good.
A new-look Australian side cruised past their Trans-Tasman rivals 3-0, with one of the scorers that night - local boy James Troisi – hoping to be involved again when the Socceroos return to the venue in March.
Troisi put the icing on the cake in that game with an injury-time penalty after striker Josh Kennedy had earlier scored a brace.
Some other names to feature on that occasion were keeper Nathan Coe, youngsters Michael Zullo, and Neil Kilkenny, defenders Jon McKain and Matt Spiranovic, while Brett Emerton captained with regular skipper Lucas Neill on the bench.
And it was “Emmo” who almost gave the home side an early lead, his rasping shot rolling inches wide of the post.
It didn’t take long for the Socceroos to take control though with Kennedy opening the scoring after just 10 minutes.
Kiwi gloveman Glen Moss made a hash of Jeremy Brockie’s back-pass, with Kennedy was on hand to swoop on the loose ball and slot it into the empty net.
Despite heavy rain, Holger Osieck’s side continued to create chances but had to wait until just before the hour mark to double their lead.
From a corner, Kennedy out-jumped the New Zealand defence to plant a trademark header into the back of the net.
Osieck than rang the changes, giving the likes of Robbie Kruse, Dario Vidosic, Mark Milligan and Rhys Williams some valuable game time.
One of those substitutes was involved in the final goal, with Kruse hauled down in the box for a penalty.
Adelaide-born Troisi – who had a superb match – took responsibility from the spot and made no mistake to cap and comfortable win for the Socceroos and the emergence of some important new faces in the green and gold.
And new Socceroo faces is something we could see next March in Adelaide, with the Olyroos set to play in the AFC U-23 Championships in January (which double as Olympics qualifiers).
“The Olympic qualifiers in January are a chance for players in the Olyroos to impress me,” Postecoglou said.
“I hope at least a couple will convince me to look hard at them for selection in the World Cup squad in March.’’
The national coach added: “This is the nation’s team. I guess when the national team or the green and gold rolls out in whatever sport, Australians unconditionally get behind them.
"And I’ve got no doubt it will won’t be any different here in Adelaide.”
Tickets for the Socceroos clash against Tajikistan at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday, 24 March are now on sale. For more information visit www.socceroos.com.au/tickets
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