Qantas Socceroos down Paraguay
David Carney's goal in the 53rd minute was enough to help the Qantas Socceroos to a 1-0 win over Paraguay. Check out the highlights.
A spectacular David Carney goal has given the Socceroos a 1-0 win over Paraguay in Saturday's international friendly at the SFS, delivering coach Holger Osieck success in his first outing on home soil.
Carney's superb 53rd minute winner before a slightly disappointing crowd of just over 25,000 ensured Australian remains unbeaten three games into Osieck's reign.
The German promised to play attacking football before the game and was good to his word, the Socceroos asking constant questions of the Paraguayan defence in an assured and confident performance.
That their dominance failed to produce more than one goal may because for concern, but the one they did get was deserving of a match clincher.
The unmarked Carney was lurking inside the box as a cross dribbled off Josh Kennedy's back as the big frontman fell to the turf.
Spotting a small gap between the keeper and the left post, the attacking left fullback let fly with a swerving left-foot volley that threaded the narrow passageway.
Carney wheeled around in delight at his fourth goal in Socceroos colours at a ground where he enjoyed so much success with Sydney FC.
Tim Cahill had earlier overcome a knee injury to start the match, with Osieck leaving Scott McDonald on the bench and employing Josh Kennedy and Cahill up front in an attacking 4-4-2 formation.
Paraguay fielded six starting players from the side beaten by Spain in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
The visitors carved out the first chance of the game on 13 minutes, striker Nelson Haedo Valdez's excellent first-time effort covered by Mark Schwarzer at the near post.
Australia were slow to warm to the task but eventually found their attacking groove midway through the half.
Cahill lost his marker to meet Luke Wilkshire's curling free kick, only for the goal-bound header to be cleared off the line.
A minute later Jason Culina almost claimed a rare international goal when his rasping 28m drive was parried away by goalkeeper Diego Barreto.
The ball fell for Wilkshire to whip in a cross but Kennedy's header sailed wide of the mark.
The game was now being played at an up tempo pace and the South Americans were struggling to go with the Socceroos.
The half ended scoreless although Australia's injury time penalty claim - after Mile Jedinak was dragged down by the arm inside the box - had some merit.
The hosts continued to attack after the interval and went close to scoring through Cahill and Richard Garcia in the opening minutes.
But it fell to Carney, currently out of favour at Premier League Blackpool, to break the deadlock.
His strike never looked like missing from the moment it left his trusty left boot.
McDonald entered the fray on the hour for Kennedy but was unable to break his goal-scoring drought, which now stretches 19 matches across four years.
Paraguay threatened an equaliser on a number of occasions deep into the match but the Socceroos rode their luck to hold on for an encouraging win over the 17th ranked country in the world.
Australia 1 (Carney 53m)
Crowd: 25, 210
90:00+5 The Aussies have won courtesy of a Carney goal early in the second half and delivered new manager Holger Osieck his maiden win on home soil.
90:00+4 The game is over but some of the battles continue, especially the Benitez/Wilkshire conflict. However despite the aggro the regular jersey swap goes on as the teams leave the field.
90:00+2 There is no love lost between these two sides as Edgar Benitez grabs Wilkshire in a choke hold, not very friendly, this friendly.
90:00+1 SUBSTITUE AUSTRALIA - Alex Brosque (11) comes on to the cheers of the Sky Blues fans as he replaces Garcia (19).
89:00 Vidosic slips the ball between defenders to a waiting Garcia who from 30 metres out decides to have a shot - it misses.
87:00 SUBSTITUE AUSTRALIA - Kewell is off as Osieck decides he is getting a little too fired up in his battle with Veron. He is replaced by Dario Vidosic (22).
85:00 YELLOW CARD - (2) Dario Veron, Paraguay. Veron muggs Kewell from behind dragging him to the turf and the referee decides to show him yellow.
82:00 The Paraguayan substitutes are setting the pitch on fire as they link together and press for an equaliser, once again Schwarzer is caught out as he opts to punch and the ball and fails to clear it.
80:00 SUBSTITUE PARAGUAY - Cesar Benitez (4) replaces Claudio Rodriguez (3).
78:00 SUBSTITUE PARAGUAY - Enrique Vera (13) replaces Cristian Riveros (16).
77:00 The Paraguayans had Schwarzer beaten as he comes way off his line to try and cut off Santander, only McKain lurking on the goal line saves the Aussies conceding.
76:00 SUBSTITUTE PARAGUAY - Fredrico Santander (9) on for Nelson Valdez (18).
75:00 SUBSTITUTE AUSTRALIA - Cahill's night is done as he is replaced by Matt McKay (14).
72:00 Martinez with a little give and go sees Bonet get inside the defence and with the ball dashing into goal, somehow he bungles the unmissable shot and the ball balloons up for Schwarzer to take.
70:00 Valdez and Wilkshire have a little disagreement as they tangle with each other, the referee waves it off and tells them to get on with the game.
68:00 McDonald is starting to find his feet and his pace is starting to cause the Paraguayan defence some issues. Having gotten used to Kennedy's height, now they've got to try to contain McDonald.
66:00 SUBSTITUTE PARAGUAY - Edgar Benitez (10) replaces Hernan Perez (7).
65:00 Culina gives Valdez too much space and the Paraguayan in space receives the ball he holds it for a second as the defence scrambles and then slams it low into the far corner to find Schwarzer waiting.
64:00 The pace has gone out of the game with both teams just gathering their collective breaths.
62:00 The Australians lose the ball deep in defence and the visitors swoop on the ball the long shot is however straight to the keeper and Schwarzer takes the ball easily.
60:00 SUBSTITUTE AUSTRALIA - Scott McDonald (17) on for Josh Kennedy (9).
57:00 On the quick counter the visitors look to even the score but a foul is called in the box and the Australians will clear.
55:00 SUBSTITUTE PARAGUAY - Osvaldo Martinez (20) on for Nestor Camacho (11).
54:00 Valdez slips inside North and has a short range shot at the Australian goal, however Schwarzer is in the way and comfortably takes the ball.
53:00 GOAL AUSTRALIA - The ball is played into the box high looking for Kennedy, he is brought to ground and the ball bounces in space - Carney swoops in from outside the box to drive it past Barreto.
52:00 SUBSTITUTE PARAGUAY - Marcos Riveros (17) on for debutant Derlis Orue (19).
49:00 Culina has a shot from outside the box bit it rebounds off a defender as it strikes his hand there are calls for a handball but it would be harsh to pay that.
48:00 Another great save from Barreto as Garcia, slips his keeper and tries to blast the ball through the goals from inside the box. The ball rebounded to Kennedy who just couldn't get his foot to it.
45:30 The second half is underway and no changes to either side.
Half-time sees the score stuck at 0 - 0, but the game has been free flowing and and for the most part enjoyable for the Green and Gold army, with only good keeping from Barreto denying them.
45:00+2 A quick free kick to the Australians as Cahill is thumped into the turf illegally, the kick 10 metres out from the D, is taken poorly by Wilkshire and balloons over the goals.
45:00+1 The Aussies with another free kick in the dying seconds - Wilkshire from 10 metres out from the box curls it in and the Aussie go up as Jedinak is dragged down - penalty? No, says the Referee.
45:00 There will be 1 minute of injury time in the first half.
43:00 Cahill is caught offside and decides to show the adoring crowd a little magic after the whistle as back to the goals he juggles the ball and then lobs it over the keeper into the net.
41:00 The Australians are full of running as they try and score in the dying minutes of the first half, even the old timers like Kewell look like they've grown an extra leg.
39:00 Valdez weaves a litte Paraguayan magic and jinks around North, this is their best forward thrust of the match but it is snuffed out by a swarm of green and gold shirts.
37:00 Paraguay win their first corner of the evening but squander it with a ball straight to a green and gold defender, the Aussies stream forward on the counter.
35:00 One corner leads to another, this time on the other side of the pitch, but the second kick is low and straight to a defender. Paraguay clears easily.
34:00 Yet another free kick to the Aussies 15 metres out from the box, the ball is well delivered but comes off the defence for an Australian corner.
32:00 Once again Barreto the Paraguayan keeper is called into action, it is an easy enough take but still he is seeing rather a lot of the ball.
30:00 Wilkshire from the corner with another superb cross, it comes off someone's head and falls to Garcia whose attempt at a bicycle kick misses by millimetres. The Aussies are in full flight.
28:00 A ball is passed into the path of Kennedy by Culina but it is a trifle heavy and the defence clears it but does concede the corner.
27:00 Another ball high into the box causes Barreto to once again take the ball overhead.
25:00 A free kick for a handball against Paraguay, sees yet another Wilkshire free kick, which is taken by the keeper as he advances off his line into traffic.
23:00 YELLOW CARD - Paraguay, Rodriguez tumbles to the ground just outside the box and the referee has no hesitation in showing him a yellow, for the unfortunately named, simulation.
22:00 Suddenly it is raining chances, as Culina has a strike from outside the box which is once again saved by Barreto. However it bounces back into play and is headed wide by Kennedy.
21:00 Australia's best chance so far as a free kick from Wilkshire finds Cahill, who somehow got loose, on the far side of the box, his header is saved by a diving Barreto.
19:00 Garcia tries to work his way down the wing but once again a good tackle sees the ball cleared by Paraguay.
17:00 Still the Paraguayans keep the pressure up and hold the ball deep in their attacking half.
15:00 The Australians are looking shaky through the midfield. Sensing possible weakness the visitors are defending a long way upfield keeping the pressure up.
13:00 Carlos Bonet has a strike on goal from just outside the box, it flies high towards the corner of the net, where it is met by the safe hands of the Australian skipper - Schwarzer.
12:00 Kennedy looms over the top of Veron trying to force the defender to concede the corner, however the little man has too much pace and runs around him.
10:00 Culina with a careless foul, turns the ball over just outside of the penalty area for the Aussies. There was no malice in the foul just a little overexuberance.
08:00 The ball is deep in attack for the Australians however under pressure the ball is turned over and the visitors will have a chance to work their way into attack.
05:00 Both sides are playing free flowing football as they find their feet. The ball is careering between ends without either side having a serious chance.
03:00 The Aussies win the first corner of the night after a Cahill shot is deflected out, however the ball is poorly kicked into the box and easily cleared.
02:00 With both teams on the eve of major regional tournaments many players will be looking to stamp their claim for a place in their respective national sides.
00:00 Welcome to the Sydney Football Stadium for an international clash between the Australian Socceroos and Paraguay. The anthems have been sung and we are about to get underway.
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