Australia and Serbia draw 0-0 in friendly
Australia and Serbia played out an entertaining scoreless draw
on Tuesday in the second friendly in a week for both teams.
Serbia and Australia had plenty of opportunities to score at the
Docklands stadium, which had its roof closed for the night to keep
out the Melbourne rain.
”The entertainment factor was definitely given, but I am not
happy because our game lacked a little of the fluid passing I would
like to see, and at times we made the wrong decision,” Australia
coach Holger Osieck said. ”On the other hand, I think our team
showed a great deal of effort again.
”Basically I got a lot more positives than negatives,” the
German added. ”But I am always looking for perfection. It’s not
possible, but you should never give up trying.”
Serbia coach Vladimir Petrovic praised his team’s performance,
especially that of the younger players.
”I’m very happy with Radosav Petrovic for example,” the coach
said via a translator. ”He has looked good the last couple of
games and will be part of our top 11 when we play for points, and
he’s only 22.”
Serbia lost 2-1 to South Korea in a friendly at Seoul on Friday,
while Australia beat New Zealand at Adelaide on Sunday.
Australia beat Serbia 2-1 at last year’s World Cup in South
Africa, where neither team progressed past the group stage.
Australia, captained by Galatasaray’s Lucas Neill, was again
without regulars Tim Cahill, Harry Kewell and goalkeeper Mark
The Australians had a chance in the fifth minute when Michael
Zullo outpaced several defenders before centering the ball to
midfielder Matthew McKay, who’s shot went wide.
Serbia had a chance presented five minutes later with a penalty
just outside the box, but Adem Ljajic’s spot kick failed to find
the goal. Then, in the 16th minute, midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic
narrowly missed with a powerful strike just outside the area.
Australia midfielder Mile Jedinak’s penalty attempt in the 29th
looked dangerous, but was stopped by Serbia keeper Damir Kahriman.
Kahriman was forced to make another save in the 37th when Jedinak
found space in front of goal, and again when Brett Holman fired in
a low strike in the 44th.
Midfielder Adem Ljajic squandered one of the better chances when
he gathered a pass unmarked in front of the Australian goal, but
lofted his shot over the crossbar.
Serbia winger Zoran Tosic threatened in the first minute after
the break when he eluded the defense to find himself unmarked in
the box, only to have the ball plucked from his feet by Australian
keeper Adam Federici in the first of four excellent saves.
”I’m always happy when you keep a clean sheet. It’s nice to get
a bit of game time,” Federici said. ”Performances like that will
hopefully keep me in the team.”
Midfielder Brett Holman came close twice more in the second half
– shooting over the bar in the 61st and fading left of the upright
three minutes later.
Australia midfielder Matthew McKay had a shot from inside the
Serbia box stopped in the 79th and substitute Dragan Mrdja had a
chance go wide for Serbia with two minutes remaining in regulation
as both teams, looking visibly tired, took every opportunity to try
and break the deadlock.
Australia: Adam Federici, Lucas Neill (captain, John McKain,
58), Michael Zullo (James Troisi, 47), Archie Thompson (Robbie
Kruse, 66), Sasa Ognenovski, Brett Emerton (Dario Vidosic, 58),
Luke Wilkshire (Rhys Williams, 58), Brett Holman, Mile Jedinak
(Neil Kilkenny, 74), Carl Valeri, Matthew McKay.
Serbia: Damir Kahriman, Slobodan Rajkovic (Neven Subtoic, 65),
Nenad Tomovic (Milan Bisevac, 75), Zoran Tosic (Aleksandar Lukovic,
90), Adem Ljajic (Dragan Mrdja, 65), Dejan Stankovoic (captain,
Milan Jovanovic, 84), Jovan Damjanovic, Radosav Petrovic, Ivan
Obradovic, Milan Vilotic, Zdravko Kuzmanovic (Vaseljko Trivunovic,