Olyroos bow out of Olympic tournament

The Australian Men’s Olympic Football team’s 2008 Olympic Games campaign has come to an end following their 0-1 loss to Côte d’Ivoire in their final group match of the Football tournament in Tianjin tonight.

The Australian Men-s Olympic Football team-s 2008 Olympic Games campaign has come to an end following their 0-1 loss to Côte d-Ivoire in their final group match of the Football tournament in Tianjin tonight.

A goal to Salomon Kalou in the 81st minute was enough for Côte d-Ivoire to progress to the quarter final stage where they will now face Nigeria.

Going into the match, Australia were without the services of Archie Thompson due to a foot injury he sustained against Argentina and as a result, Matt Simon was drafted into the squad as a replacement player.

David Carney seemed to have put Australia ahead in the 19th minute when his shot from inside the box beat Ivorian goal keeper Vincent Angban, but defender Viera Diarrassouba was on hand to make an important clearance off the goal-line.

Côte d-Ivoire came back into the game midway through the half and around the half-hour mark Ivorian captain Gervinho and striker Salomon Kalou had great opportunities to take the lead, but couldn-t find the net.

After a scoreless first half, Kristian Sarkies came close to breaking the deadlock in the 53rd minute with a well-taken dipping free-kick which was pushed around the post by Vincent Angban.

Just after the hour mark Ivorian defender Brou Angoua had a long range shot which Australian goal keeper Adam Federici tipped over the bar with a fine athletic save.

Knowing that his team needed to win and with time ticking down, Australian coach Graham Arnold replaced striker Nikita Rukavytsya with Matt Simon to give his team a different attacking option.

But it was the Ivorians who broke the deadlock in the 81st minute when Gervinho made a short solo run at the Australian defence and then slid a pass through to an unmarked Salomon Kalou standing outside the middle of the penalty box. Kalou placed his right footed shot into the top right corner giving Adam Federici no chance of saving.

Australia didn-t give up hope and continued to push for a goal, but the Ivorians held on for the win and their first appearance in the quarter finals of the Olympic Games Football Tournament.

In the other Group A match, Argentina defeated Serbia 2-0 in Shanghai. Argentina will now face the Netherlands and Côte d-Ivoire will meet fellow Africans Nigeria in the quarter finals on Saturday 16th August. The Australian players will now leave China to join their respective club teams and the start of their domestic football leagues.

Match Details Côte d-Ivoire 1 (Salomon Kalou 81-) Australia 0

Tuesday, 23 August 2008 Olympic Sports Center Stadium, Tianjin, China PR

Referee: Jair Marrufo (USA) Assistant Referees: Kermit Quisenberry (USA) & Ricardo Morgan (JAM) Fourth Official: Stephan Lannoy (FRA) Crowd: 50,437

Australia line-up: 1.Adam Federici (gk), 2.Jade North, 4.Mark Milligan (C) (14.James Troisi 86-), 5.Matthew Spiranovic, 8.Stuart Musialik, 9.Mark Bridge, 11.David Carney, 12.Trent McClenahan (21.Matt Simon 73-), 15.Kristian Sarkies, 16.Billy Celeski (6.Nikolai Topor-Stanley 86-), 17.Nikita Rukavytsya. Substitutes Not Used: 18.Tando Velaphi (gk), 3.Adrian Leijer, 7.Neil Kilkenny, 13.Ruben Zadkovich.

Yellow Cards: Stuart Musialik 75-

Red Cards: Nil