Australia defeat New Zealand 2-1 at the MCG in injury time

Australia scored a 2-1 win over New Zealand tonight at the MCG in Melbourne with a 94th minute goal by Brett Holman sealing victory for the Socceroos.

In a game that was played in wet conditions, New Zealand dominated early and appeared the more cohesive outfit, while Australia were very ordinary. The Socceroos controlled the game for a fair bit of the second half, and played much better, to give the home town crowd something to cheer about.

New Zealand were the more impressive team in the first half and they were rewarded in the 16th minute when Chris Killen swept onto a ball in the penalty box and put it past Australian goalkeeper Adam Federici to give the All-Whites a 1-0 lead.

The All-Whites had a number of chances in the first half with Rory Fallon dangerous in the air and New Zealand could easily been a couple of goals up.

Australia appeared a disjointed team and never really threatened until the 36th minute when Scott McDonald got on to the end of a David Carney cross only to have New Zealand goalkeeper Mark Paston parry it away.

A couple of late tackles on New Zealand’s Leo Bertos resulted in yellow cards to Vince Grella (28m) and Tim Cahill (31m) with Winston Reid replacing Bertos, who was unable to continue. Australia’s Mark Milligan (23m) also received a yellow card earlier in the half.

The second half saw Australia put in a much better performance and they dominated play in the first stanza, especially down the right side.

After some good work by Jason Culina, a Chris Cullen richochet landed at the feet of Dario Vidosic, who volleyed his shot up and over Paston to level the scores at 1-1 in the 57th minute.

New Zealand striker Rory Fallon had a wonderful opportunity to put the All-Whites back in front just over ten minutes later, but his header went straight into substituted Aussie keeper Brad Jones body and was knocked away for a corner to New Zealand.

The rest of the half was fairly uneventful and both sides did little attacking, until late into injury time Brett Holman ran onto a through ball inside the box to put the game beyond doubt and gain a most unlikely victory for Australia with only seconds left.

New Zealand showed they will be competitive at the World Cup and they face Slovakia in their first match of Group F on June 15th in Rustenburg. New Zealand are currently around $1500 to win the event.

Australia still have some class to add to the side, but they are going to struggle against sides with big forwards in the air, and are showing $81.00 to win the Cup. Australia play Germany in their first Group D match on June 14th at Durban.

Filed Under: 2010 World Cup