Pararoos warm up with win over Venezuela

Australia have defeated a resilient Venezuela side 2-0 in the lead up to their first match at the Intercontinental Cup in Spain.

Australia have defeated a resilient Venezuela side 2-0 in the lead up to their first match at the Intercontinental Cup in Spain.

The Pararoos started off a bit shaky and could have gone down early on, after a poor pass out of the defensive third was intercepted by a Venezuelan midfielder, counter attacking and shooting wide of the post.

This close call gave the Australians the jolt they needed and they stepped up a level. After some good build up play through Pyne and Goodman and some tight passing in the attacking third, central midfielder, David Barber managed to get in behind the defensive midfielder to slot one in past the keeper to give the Pararoos the lead.

Australia seemed shaky at the back and poor cover saw the South Americans come close once again, but poor shooting denied the equaliser.

Half way through the second half some good build up work from Goodman found Larkins-Law on the edge of the box, but a poor pass denied an overlapping Barber his second.

In the second half, Scott Kennedy was brought on up front, pushing Larkins-Law wide in place of Marsh. The South Americans tried to attack down the left, but found it difficult to beat Larkins-Law in a one-on-one situation.

Venezuela made some tactical changes and attacked through the middle with confidence. Australia failed to close quickly and once again Venezuela could have easily equalised, but a shot to the right was easily covered by Pararoo goalkeeper Ned Mcabe.

The Australians seemed to settle more and relax on the ball as the match wore on. Williams was solid at the back in the second half, snuffing out a number of penetrating runs inside the area.

Some good combinations from Queenslanders Barber and Kennedy in the second half were dangerous and constantly had the South Americans on the back foot.

Late in the match, Pyne was replaced by Turner at the back. Australia seemed to be more patient and knocked the ball around well. Slowly building down the left through Kinner, a switch through the midfield found Barber who fired a shot from 25-metres out. The South American goalkeeper had the shot covered, but it had too much power and slowly dribbled over the line.

Head Coach Paul Brown was pleased with the result after the match; “It was a good hit out, but we can play better and will, against Portugal,” he said.

The Pararoos open their CPISRA Intercontinental Cup campaign against Portugal on 29 July, with group matches also scheduled against Ukraine and USA.