Qantas Under 23's draw with Iran
The Qantas Under 23’s have kick started their 2008 Beijing Olympics Group D qualifying campaign off in good style, by gaining a valuable point against Iran in Tehran.
The Qantas Under 23s have secured a valuable point in their opening Stage 2 Olympic qualifying match with a scoreless draw against Iran in Tehran-s Azadi Stadium overnight.
There were few chances for either team in the match played in cold conditions with snow falling in the Iranian capital the day prior to the match.
Iran started strongly and had their best opportunity of the match after just seven minutes with Iranian left-winger Milad Meydavoudi unable to beat Australia's goalkeeper Danny Vukovic in a one-on-one situation.
Newcastle Jets striker Mark Bridge fired a fierce shot over the crossbar just on half time, while fellow forward David Williams also came close on the hour mark with an attempt on goal.
Australia were without influential Newcastle United midfielder Stuart Musialik who returned to Australia prior to the match with a recurrence of a shoulder injury.
Australia will now meet Jordan in their second Group D match to be played at Adelaide-s Hindmarsh Stadium on Wednesday 14 March.
In the other Group D match Saudi Arabia beat Jordan 1-0 in Amman.
Australian line-up: Danny Vukovic (gk); Trent McClenahan (Ben Griffin), Mark Milligan, Adrian Leijer, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Leigh Broxham, Kristian Sarkies, Nathan Burns (Nick Ward), David Williams (Dario Vidosic), Mark Bridge, Bruce Djite Substitutes: Tando Velaphi (gk), Troy Hearfield, Robert Cornthwaite, Adam D'Apuzzo, Vince Lia
Cautions: Burns, Broxham, Griffin
Australia defeated Chinese Taipei 12-0 on aggregate earlier this month to qualify for the second qualifying stage.
The 24-team second round qualifying, which has been split into six groups of four, runs through February 28 to June 6, with the top two teams in each group advancing to the final round to be played in three groups of four teams each.
The final home and away round will be held from August 22 - November 21, with the three group winners representing Asia at the Beijing Olympic Games.
Round 2 - Match Day 1 - (Away) Wednesday 28 February 2007 Iran v Australia Tehran
Round 2 - Match Day 2 - (Home) Wednesday 14 March 2007 Australia v Jordan Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide
Round 2 - Match Day 3 - (Home) Wednesday 28 March 2007 Australia v Saudi Arabia Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide
Round 2 - Match Day 4 - (Away) Wednesday 18 April 2007 Saudi Arabia v Australia Venue to be confirmed
Round 2 - Match Day 5 - (Home) Wednesday 16 May 2007 Australia v Iran Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide
Round 2 - Match Day 6 - (Away) Wednesday 6 June 2007 Jordan v Australia Venue to be confirmed
Click on the following link for more information on the Qantas Under 23s, including player profiles: http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/default.aspx?s=aus_mensu23s
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