Socceroos held by South Africa

The Socceroos have drawn with South Africa 2-all in an enthralling match at Loftus Road Stadium in London tonight.

The Socceroos have drawn with South Africa 2-all in an enthralling match at Loftus Road Stadium in London tonight.

South Africa took the lead in the 21st minute when Siyabonga Nkosi finished well after being set-up by a Benni McCarthy back-heel at the edge of the box. The Socceroos equalised four minutes later when Vincenzo Grella lobbed a ball to Mile Sterjovski who volleyed over the advancing South African goal keeper Itumeleng Khune.

The Socceroos took the lead in the 38th minute when striker Josh Kennedy headed home a perfectly placed Mark Bresciano free kick.

At the half time break, Socceroos head coach made a number of changes with Lucas Neill, Scott Chipperfield and Scott McDonald making way for Mark Milligan, David Carney and Brett Holman respectively.

The second half began at the same frenetic pace as the first with both teams trading goal scoring opportunities.

South Africa equalised just before the hour mark when Teko Modise hit a stinging shot from inside the Australian penalty box past the near post of Socceroos goal keeper Mark Schwarzer.

Soon after, Verbeek made two more changes with Vincenzo Grella replaced by Carl Valeri and Mile Sterjovski replaced by Richard Garcia who was on debut and became the 519th Qantas Socceroo in the process.

Bruce Djite made an appearance for the Socceroos in the 73rd minute replacing Josh Kennedy and had a great opportunity to score close to the final whistle, but unfortunately was unable to find the back of the net.

After the match, Pim Verbeek was pleased with the overall performance of his players.

"When we had the ball I thought we played very well," Verbeek said.

"Defensively we gave some chances away. I was not so pleased with that but that's normal - we had one day 's preparation.

"Overall I was very pleased with the performance. The boys looked fresh and sharp,” concluded Verbeek.

The Socceroos will now prepare for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers v Round 4 with an international friendly against the Netherlands in Eindhoven on Saturday 6 September, before their qualification match against Uzbekistan in Tashkent on Wednesday 10 September.

Match Details

Socceroos 2 (Mile Sterjovski 25-, Josh Kennedy 38-) South Africa 2 (Siyabonga Nkosi 21-, Teko Modise 58-)

Tuesday 19 August 2008 Loftus Road Stadium, London, England

Socceroos line-up: 1.Mark SCHWARZER (gk), 2.Lucas NEILL (c)( 4.Mark MILLIGAN 46-), 3.Scott CHIPPERFIELD (11.David CARNEY 46-), 5.Jason CULINA, 7.Scott McDONALD (10.Brett HOLMAN 46-), 8.Luke WILKSHIRE, 9.Joshua KENNEDY (12.Bruce DJITE 73-), 13.Vincenzo GRELLA (14.Carl VALERI 62-), 16.Chris COYNE, 21.Mile STERJOVSKI (20.Richard GARCIA 62-), 23.Mark BRESCIANO.

Substitutes Not Used: 6.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 18.Michael PETKOVIC (gk), 19.Nick CARLE.

Yellow Cards: Chris Coyne 87- Red Cards: Nil

Referee: Mr Howard Webb (England) Assistant Referees: Mr Dave Richardson (England) & Mr Peter Kirkup (England) Fourth Official: Mr Andre Marriner (England)