Socceroos beat Liechtenstein

Australia scored two goals in the last 15 minutes Wednesday to beat Liechtenstein 3-1 in its last warmup ahead of the World Cup.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:34 IST
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Australia scored two goals in the last 15 minutes to beat Liechtenstein 3-1 in its last warmup ahead of the World Cup on Wednesday. The teams were tied 1-1 until substitute Joshua Kennedy scored in the 75th minute. John Aloisi added another goal in the 82nd, tapping in a rebound off the post. "What I cannot stand is the lack of concentration in the first 20 minutes," said Australia coach Guus Hiddink, who also complained of "some very sloppy defence". The Socceroos open their World Cup on Monday against Japan in Kaiserlautern. Headed goal Playing without striker Mark Viduka, Australia dictated the pace but never led until Kennedy jumped for his headed goal. Liechtenstein was hard-pressed to get out of its own half prior early on, with few offensive options other than the long ball. The tactic worked after eight minutes, when Lucas Neill headed an own goal from a long-distance free kick. Australia started to play balls in from the flanks and Mike Sterjovski tapped in one such cross in the 20th to make it 1-1. The Socceroos missed several more chances in the first half, with a pair of free kicks from dangerous positions missing the mark. Low firepower Liechtenstein looked to counterattack but was short on firepower. The Socceroos, meanwhile, were frustrated by the defense and their own mistakes. Worrying Hiddink, Liechtenstein had chances to score more. Australia almost conceded but goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac stopped Thomas Beck from close range. At the other end, Tim Cahill shot high when alone in front of goal in the 59th and goalkeeper Peter Jehle made a save five minutes later. Australia winger Harry Kewell played 60 minutes after sitting out recent friendlies against Greece (1-0) and the Netherlands (1-1). Kewell injured his groin in Liverpool's FA Cup final win over West Ham last month. Hiddink also rested goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and several other possible starters. FIFA ranks Liechtenstein joint No. 123 with Cape Verde Islands, 81 places below Australia. Its team Wednesday featured four full-time professionals and three others with professional experience. Lineups: Australia: Zeljko Kalac, Lucas Neill, Craig Moore (Michael Beauchamp, 79), Tony Popovic, Tim Cahill (Mark Milligan, 85), Brett Emerton, Josip Skoko (Neil Kilkenny, 85), Harry Kewell (Joshua Kennedy, 60), Stan Lazaridis (Archie Thompson, 67), John Aloisi, Mike Sterjovski. Liechtenstein: Peter Jehle, Thomas Beck (Roger Beck, 89), Ronny Buechel, Fabio D'Elia, Benjamin Fischer (Raphael Rohrer, 89), Mario Frick, Daniel Hasler, Sandor Meierhofer (Daniel Frick, 69), Marco Ritzberger, Martin Stocklasa, Martin Telser. (AP)