Socceroos v China Live Update
The Socceroos face a tough test as their build up towards this years Asian Cup, with a match against fellow finalist China in Guangzhou, China.
FINAL SCORE: CHINA 0 - 2 AUSTRALIA
A vastly superior first half display has led to a 2-0 win by the Socceroos over China in Guangzhou. Goalscorers Holman (8') and Bresciano (28') were two of several Australian players who put on a dominant first half performance which gave the home side no chance. Despite China having the best of play after half time, the Australian defence did not allow for many serious shots on goal by the Chinese, with a multitude of second half substitutions letting several more players gain some first team match experience but eventually taking the sting out of the match as a spectacle. Australia can now take part in the upcoming Asian Cup for the first time with much confidence having soundly defeated one of Asia's top ten sides on their home turf.
Full time stats (China-Australia): . possession 50%-50% . shots 12-7 . corners 7-4 . offsides 1-5 . fouls 5-22 (thanks to FoxSports)
93' full time Australia wins 2-0.
92' perhaps the last chance of the match with Wei ineffectively reaching the end of a free kick crossed in from the left to near-goal
90' three minutes of added time to be played
90' substitute Australia: Valeri off, Burns on
89' fouls now 5 (China) - 20 (Australia)
88' the second half is coming to a stuttering end with several substitutions taking the rythym out of the game over the latter stages of the match
85' substitute Australia: Sterjovski off, Colosimo on (both sides allowed up to six substitutes in this match)
83' substitute China: Jin Yu off, Dong on
83' Australia still without a shot at goal in the second half so far, while the Chinese have managed eight - almost reversing the first half shots tally
80' substitute Australia: Bresciano off, Carle on. Three Hyundai A-League players now on the park
79' Fang Zhuo makes a strong run near goal but again is unable to get a clear shot on target
76' substitute Australia: Viduka off, McDonald on... Viduka getting a nice rousing reception from the Chinese fans
75' substitute China: Jian Qing off, Song on
73' China's second corner in 60 seconds is another ineffective one - straight to Schwarzer
71' a close offside call as Viduka gets a good header on target from 5m out
69' substitute Australia: Holman off, Thompson on
69' yellow card Australia: Holman with a dodgy challenge
66' substitute Australia: Steffanuto off, North on
65' the home side almost breaks the duck with Jun Zhe breaking free on the right and crossing to Yan Peng who strikes it firmly on target from 6m out only for Schwarzer to foil with a fantastic reflex save with his left hand
61' China have enjoyed much more of the possession so far in the second stanza, however have still not managed to get a firm strike on target
60' substitute China: Jia Yi off, Yan Peng on
55' Australia concedes its 10th foul for the match... in contrast China have given away just two
51' Australia concedes a foul 25m out - the resulting shot gets through to Schwarzer but the Aussie keeper does not have to exert himself too much... China looking a much better side in the second half so far
49 a great run from near half-way from Jia Yi who makes it all the way to the six yard box, but a clean shot on goal being foiled by a last ditch tackle
46' China starts off the second half well with a near chance falling to Jin Yu following a useful break down the right
46' substitute China (half-time): Hai Bin on
Half time stats (China-Australia): . possession 45%-55% . total shots 2-7 . corners 2-4 . offsides 1-4 . fouls 2-8
It has been a first half completely dominated by the visiting Socceroos, with Holman, Bresciano and Viduka almost toying with the opposition, who have surprisingly looked a disjointed outfit. Australian goalkeeper Schwarzer has rarely been called into action will the ball rarely going near the Australian penalty area.
half time Australia 2-0.
42' Australia earns a corner following a few ominous moments for the Chinese defence, Australia really looking the dominant side
41' Holman breaks through from midfield again to almost latch on to a dangerous through ball from Viduka
39' Holman is let loose but is controversially ruled offside with only the keeper to beat
38' substitute China: Jian Jun off, Fang Zhuo on
35' Jia Yi breaks free and shoots towards goal, but it goes too far left - perhaps China's best chance of the match so far
33' China's second corner for the match is again ineffective
32' yellow card Australia: Beauchamp fouls his opponent, although it was nothing too malicious
31' another good passage of play for the Aussies with Steffanuto crossing it to Sterjovski, whose shot goes wide
28' GOAL AUSTRALIA China loses it in the box, the ball snapped up by Bresciano who gets a great first touch, and an even better second touch with a perfectly placed shot on target from 7m out. Australia 2-0.
22' Holman passes through for Viduka near goal, but the Australian captain is just in an offside position
20' China wins its first corner, but it goes straight to an Australian player... Australia then makes a break with Holman and Bresciano involved, which immediately gets the ball to the other end of the park
19' Sterjovski gets a cross in but its too close to the keeper
14' Sterjovski ruled offside, Australia's second offside for the match... Socceroos dominating
10' Lu Jian Jun is almost through for China but is ruled offside
8' GOAL AUSTRALIA a great run on the left from Bresciano who eventually passes along the ground it to an unmarked Holman near the penalty spot, who makes no mistake to notch his first goal for Australia. Australia 1-0.
6' a nice turn, run and firm strike from 20m out from Viduka, again well stopped by the keeper. Australia getting some good early chances
2' Holman lays it on to Viduka who gets a decent shot on from 15m in front, a nice save by the Chinese keeper
1' China makes the first attacking move
A crowd of around 20,000 has enthusiastically greeted both China and Australia on a coolish Chinese afternoon.
Australia's starting line-up: Mark Schwarzer (gk), Lucas Neill, Luke Wilkshire, Shane Steffanuto, Michael Beauchamp, Patrick Kisnorbo, Marco Bresciano, Carl Valeri, Brett Holman, Mile Sterjovski, Mark Viduka (c). Substitutes: Michael Thwaite, Ryan Griffiths, Simon Colosimo, Jabob Burns, Scott McDonald, Archie Thompson, Jade North, Nick Carle, Brad Jones (gk). Coach: Graham Arnold.
There will be two Qantas Socceroo debutants in today's starting line-up, Shane Steffanuto and Carl Valeri. These players become the 500th and 501st players to represent Australia in an official full international match
China's full squad: GK: Li Leilei (Shandong Luneng), Chen Dong (Dalian Shide), Yang Jun (Tianjin Taida). DEF: Sun Xiang (PSV Eindhoven), Sun Jihai (Manchester City), Zhang Yao Kun (Dalian Shide), Du Wei (Shanghai Shenhua), Xu Yunlong (Beijing), Cao Yang (Tianjin Taida), Xin Feng (Shenzhen), Lu Jianjun (Harbin Yiteng). MID: Zheng Zhi (Charlton Athletic), Shao Jiayi (Energie Cottbus), Yan Song (Dalian Shide), Sun Ji (Shanghai Shenhua), Yu Tao (Shanghai Shenhua), Zhou Haibin (Shandong Luneng), Wang Dong (Changchun Yatai), Zhao Junzhe (Liaoning). ATT: Dong Fangzhuo (Manchester United), Li Jinyu (Shandong Luneng), Han Peng (Shandong Luneng), Mao Jianqing (Shanghai Shenhua), Du Zhenyu (Changchun Yatai). Coach: Zhu Guanghu
Referee: Wu Chao Jue (Hong Kong) Venue: YueXiuShan Stadium, Guangzhou, China Temperature: 15 degrees C
The Socceroos face a tough test today in their build-up towards this year's Asian Cup, with a match against fellow finalist China in Guangzhou, China, on Saturday March 24.
Despite missing a host of big names, coach Graham Arnold is confident his charges can get the job done against a virtual full strength Chinese side.
World Cup captain Mark Viduka makes his first appearance in the green and gold since the Italy match and will be looking to bring his hot goalscoring form with Middlesbrough to the national team.
Catch all the LIVE MATCH action right here from 6.45pm (AEDT).