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,