Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Last-Gasp Holman Goal Denies Kiwis

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Last-Gasp Holman Goal Denies Kiwis

Article excerpt

Australia 2 New Zealand 1 AUSTRALIAN pair Brad Jones and Scott McDonald had the last laugh over Middlesbrough team-mate Chris Killen in Melbourne yesterday.

New Zealander Killen put the All Whites ahead in the old rivals' World Cup warm-up clash and looked to be on course to enjoy an upset victory as the hosts produced a lacklustre first-half performance.

But a debut goal from young midfielder Dario Vidosic early in the second period and an inury-time effort from substitute Brett Holman ensured the Socceroos left their fans with a winning feeling after their last home game before the squad depart for the finals in South Africa.

Holman struck with the last kick of the game to give Australia an undeserved victory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Holman has been criticised for his lack of goals in the national team, but did his chances of booking his place on the plane to South Africa no harm when he coolly converted after Carl Valeri's clever lob in the third minute of added time.

It was just the 26-year-old AZ Alkmaar forward's second goal in 30 international appearances and capped an otherwise forgettable display from the hosts - albeit in their first warm-up ahead of the finals.

New Zealand had gone ahead thanks to Killen's close-range strike after 16 minutes and they should have also had a man advantage at the break after a horror challenge by Vince Grella on Leo Bertos was met with only a yellow card.

Vidosic brought Australia level after 57 minutes before Holman clinched the win late on.

The Socceroos were also without six first-choice players with Mark Schwarzer (thumb), Harry Kewell (groin), Brett Emerton (hamstring), Josh Kennedy (back soreness) and rested defenders Luke Wilkshire and Scott Chipperfield on the sidelines. Regardless New Zealand were by far the superior team in the first period with vice-captain Tim Brown shooting just wide in the 11th minute before they went ahead five minutes later. A Simon Elliott free-kick was flicked on by Shane Smeltz for Killen who beat Mark Milligan to the ball at the far post and expertly placed his shot past debutant goalkeeper Adam Federici. …

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