Hiddink disappointed after friendly win

The Socceroos may have won their final practice game before playing Japan in their first game at the 2006 World Cup finals, but the performance against Liechtenstein left coach Guus Hiddink very disappointed.

The Socceroos may have won their final practice game before playing Japan in their first game at the 2006 World Cup finals, but the performance against Liechtenstein left coach Guus Hiddink very disappointed.

After conceding an early own goal to the tiny European nation, Australia eventually went onto win 3-1 in front of about 6,000 fans in Ulm, Germany.

Australia-s goals were scored by Mile Sterjovski, debutant Josh Kennedy and John Aloisi, while Lucas Neill has the misfortune to put one through his own goal.

Hiddink left no doubt at the after-match press conference that he was very disappointed with the performance and that the team's concentration levels were very poor, especially at the start of the match.

"We were sloppy in the first 20 minutes and lacked concentration," said an irritated Hiddink.

"We played too slow; we gave away some chances and I didn't like the way we started the game.

"I cannot stand this lack of concentration, I don-t want to see that anymore in the upcoming games, because those details are very important," he said.

The game got off to a slow start, but that was probably not surprising given there were seven changes to the Socceroos side that drew admirably with The Netherlands last Sunday.

However, a goal came after just nine minutes and to the surprise of most at the ground, it was Liechtenstein that went in front.

After Australia gave away a needless foul 35 metres out, Liechtenstein's free kick seemed easy pickings for reliable defender Neill, but the ball skimmed off his head, wrong-footing Zeljko Kalac, who had no chance of preventing it going in.

This seemed to wake Australia up, as they looked to get themselves back in the match, but all too often the last pass was not finding its man around the box and half chances were going begging.

Liechtenstein thought they should have had a penalty in the 18th minute, when a poor back header by Tony Popovic allowed dangerman Mario Frick to intercept. His touch took him past Kalac, who then looked to be impeded as he chased, but the German referee waved play on.

A minute later, Australia was level.

Sterjovski, pounced on a low cross by Stan Lazaridis to stab home, after it had beaten Aloisi at the near post.

Kewell then had a great opportunity in the 25th minute when he received an excellent ball from Aloisi, but he pushed his first touch too hard which allowed the keeper to grab the ball comfortably.

The rest of the half remained relatively quiet with Australia finding the Liechtenstein defence hard to penetrate, although Aloisi almost did, with a blistering free kick that just travelled wide of the post.

It was Liechtenstein that came out the hungrier after the break, when Thomas Beck was left unattended at the far post, but his shot from an acute angle was blocked by Kalac.

After several half chances for Australia went begging, Liechtenstein worked an excellent free kick, with Frick forcing a good low down save by Kalac.

Liechtenstein keeper Jehle then saved at the feet of Aloisi as he was about to score, but Tim Cahill was left rueing an excellent chance that he skied over the bar from only eight yards out.

A tiring Kewell was replaced after around an hour on the park, with Josh Kennedy earning his first international cap, one of four debutants on the night.

Kennedy made an immediate impact, reaching for a nicely weighted Aloisi cross but Jehle bravely saved at the tall striker's feet.

Australia-s main route to goal was looking aerial and after Aloisi sent one header wide, they finally had a second goal in the 74th minute. A deep cross from Brett Emerton found Kennedy at the back post and he expertly guided the ball past Jehle.

Liechtenstein almost drew level a minute later with two chances for Frick, his first forcing Kalac again to save with his legs and the second just missing the far post.

Australia secured victory in the 82nd minute, when Aloisi squeezed his header home following a good cross by Sterjovski.

On the positive side, Harry Kewell and Tim Cahill came through unscathed, with Kewell getting a rest after 60 minutes and Cahill playing almost a full game.

"It was a good practice match because we were able to play some new players and some who are not fully fit like Timmy Cahill and Harry Kewell," Hiddink said.

Josh Kennedy also showed enough signs that he could be a dangerous proposition for defenders if brought on late. His height again caused problems for the Liechtenstein defence and it was his aerial ability that eventually saw Australia grab the initiative.

Match Details

Liechtenstein 1 (Lucas Neill 0G 9-) Australia 3 (Mile Sterjovski 19-, Joshua Kennedy 74-, John Aloisi 82-)

Australia line-up: Zeljko Kalac (gk); Lucas Neill, Craig Moore (Michael Beauchamp 76-) , Tim Cahill (Mark Milligan 84-), Tony Popovic, Brett Emerton, Josip Skoko (Neil Kilkenny 84-), Harry Kewell (Joshua Kennedy 58-), Stan Lazaridis (Archie Thompson 67-), John Aloisi, Mile Sterjovski (Kristian Sarkies 84-) Subs not used: Mark Schwarzer (gk); Ante Covic (gk)

Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Germany) Crowd: Approx. 6,000