Connect with us

Soccer

Score, news, result, VAR, Mitch Duke, video, highlights, result, standings, penalty

Published

on

The Socceroos’ World Cup qualification hopes took another massive blow in the early hours of Wednesday morning after slipping to a 1-1 draw with China in the UAE.

16 years and a handful of hours after the Socceroos ended a 32-year wait for qualification to football’s biggest stage on that iconic night against Uruguay, the Australians are now in severe danger of falling short in their bid for a fifth-straight World Cup appearance.

After defeat to Japan and a goalless draw at home to group leaders Saudi Arabia, the Socceroos looked set to return to winning ways as they dominated much of the match and scored late in the first half through a Mitch Duke header following Australia’s 15th attempted cross of the match.

Watch CONMEBOL 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Exclusively Live with beIN SPORTS, available on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start Your Free Trial >

China and Australia go head-to-head | 00:39

Australia maintained control in the second stanza and looked to be cruising toward victory as they comfortably held possession, despite rarely threatening the China goal.

Then the match turned on its head in the 70th minute when VAR intervened, calling on the referee to review a potential Australian handball in the box. A cross from a deep-lying set piece had struck Jimmy Jeggo’s raised arm, and Wu Lei made no mistake from the spot as he levelled the scores.

China had the better chances of the half as both sides desperately hunted victory, while Graham Arnold’s raft of substitutes made precious little impact as the match slipped away to a disappointing draw.

With four games to play, the Socceroos are now five points behind unbeaten Saudi Arabia and one behind Japan, who leapfrogged Australia with a 1-0 win over Oman overnight. The top two teams automatically qualify, while the third-placed team faces an Asian play-off then an intercontinental play-off – the nervous route Australia took to qualify for Russia 2018.

World Cup qualifying pauses until late January, with Australia to host Vietnam and then play away to Oman a few days later, before the deciding matches in late March which will see the Socceroos host Japan and play away to Saudi Arabia.

Australia captain Mat Ryan said: “Disappointing, I don’t think we did enough tonight. Didn’t create enough clear-cut chances. Obviously there is probably a controversial talking point (the penalty) but there are other moments throughout the game where we need to be better… It hurts tonight but it’s all about the response.”

Aussies cop tough VAR decision | 01:05

Goalscorer Duke said: “Yeah frustrating, always, when you go one nil up and you concede and go in with a draw.

“It’s always special (to score) but frustrating that we did not get the win. It is one of my strengths – crosses and using my head – and I was lucky enough to get on the end of a great cross from Boylie (Martin Boyle) but it was not enough to secure the three points and I have got to make sure I can help and score more goals.

“We have got to brush this off and make sure we focus on the remaining four games and finish strong, maximum points out of the remaining games and feel confident we can get the job done.”

AUSTRALIA vs CHINA — MATCH CENTRE: Lineups, full stats and timeline

China's forward Wu Lei (L) levelled the scores.
China’s forward Wu Lei (L) levelled the scores.Source: AFP

FULL REPORT

China’s trio of naturalised Brazilians started the match for the first time together in the third stage of World Cup qualification, and it took just three minutes for Alan to force a Mat Ryan save when he blasted across goal from an extremely tight angle.

Martin Boyle responded four minutes later with a beautiful curling cross from the edge of the area, but the runners didn’t arrive on the edge of the six-yard area.

Just one minute afterwards, Australia had a golden opportunity to open the scoring when Aziz Behich played a square ball from the side of the area to midfielder Jackson Irvine, who – in a near carbon-copy of the Socceroos’ best opportunity against Saudi Arabia – couldn’t guide his shot on target.

Mitch Duke broke the deadlock against China.Source: Channel 10

Soon afterwards Mat Leckie controlled a Boyle cross in the centre of the box and turned and struck quickly, but straight into the palms of China keeper Yan Junling.

While Australia quickly settled into possession, China were proving dangerous on the counter-attack. the 18th minute provided another huge scare in defensive transition. As Ai Kesen charged towards goal in pursuit of a long ball, Mat Ryan was caught near the edge of his box and opted to head it – but only found Lu Wei whose volley was sprayed wide of the open net.

The Socceroos were happy to bomb crosses into the box, but – like against Saudi Arabia – it was largely ineffectual, until Boyle delightfully dipped a ball to the front post and Duke rose highest to head it down past the keeper in the 38th minute. It was the 15th Australian cross of the game to that stage.

The advantage was nearly doubled when the Socceroos broke quickly in the 43rd minute and Hrustic crossed well to Leckie, whose first touch gave Chinese gloveman Junling just enough time to close down Leckie’s resulting strike from close range.

China’s defence had shown plenty of desperation with their World Cup dreams on the brink of disappearing beyond reach, but copped a severe blow when centre-back Tyias Browning – who had earlier made a brilliant diving challenge to rob Martin Boyle in the box – was forced off with a pulled hamstring on the brink of halftime.

Irvine’s near-identical missed chances | 00:28

Australia started the second half somewhat more languidly as the pace of the game slowed. But like the first period, the Socceroos again settled after a nervous first quarter of an hour.

Early in the second stanza, Hrustic played Aziz Behich through on goal with a well-weighted through ball, but a defender beat him to the mark by a hair. Hrustic’s influence was growing, and he shimmied into space in the 58th minute before lobbing a ball through to an on-rushing Leckie in the box, who couldn’t control the ball under pressure.

Graham Arnold was far from pleased at the result.Source: Channel 10

The Socceroos had moved away from crossing. Still, they often lacked incisiveness in the final third, instead choosing to recycle possession and force China to chase the game.

Then the match turned in a moment as VAR called the referee back to examine a potential penalty incident with 20 minutes remaining. Graham Arnold was stunned, repeatedly asking: “What? What?” But from a deep China free kick, the ball had struck Jeggo’s raised arm as he leapt to head the ball away – and the referee rightly called it a handball. Mat Ryan dove the wrong way as Wu Lei blasted home from the spot. Wu Lei’s goal meant he had scored in a third-straight game and 12 in 14 games during this World Cup qualification campaign.

Former Australian striker Andy Harper was shocked by the decision, saying in commentary: “They should send the VAR through to the lab to split the atom because they have just split the hair. I’m dumbfounded, to be honest.”

Jimmy Jeggo gave away a penalty for handball following a VAR intervention.Source: Channel 10

Duke was taken off for Jamie Maclaren after the goal, while wingers Awer Mabil and Riley McGree were introduced six minutes later for Leckie and Hrustic. Fran Karacic replaced Rhyan Grant at right back in the 83rd minute, with 34-year-old striker Nikita Rukavytsya replacing Martin Boyle.

But Arnold’s attempts to wrest back momentum had little effect. Karacic played in a good cross but was woefully beaten one-on-one in defence, while Mabil was the only other player to make any sort of impact in the final minutes. Australia reverted to launching crosses into the area, which almost inevitably fell to the men in red shirts.

There was a late flashpoint as Milos Degenek butted heads – literally – with China substitute Zhang Yuning. Degenek fell to the turf and both players were handed yellow cards, which could well have been red cards.

But time soon expired on a disappointing night in Sharjah.

Milos Degenek butted heads with a China substitute.Source: Channel 10

TEAM NEWS

Australia was without rising star defender Harry Souttar after he ruptured his ACL against the Saudis.

Red Star Belgrade defender Milos Degenek replaced him during the match and started against China, while fellow central defender Trent Sainsbury overcame a hamstring niggle after playing the full 90 minutes against Saudi Arabia.

Besides Degenek’s forced introduction, Arnold opted for just one other change to the team that drew with the Green Falcons: Mitch Duke started at centre-forward, with Mat Leckie shifted to the wing and Awer Mabil dropped to the bench. Martin Boyle featured as the other winger.

Besides that, Rhyan Grant and Aziz Behich lined up at fullback with veteran keeper Mat Ryan wearing the captain’s armband. And Jimmy Jeggo and Jackson Irvine played at the base of a midfield triangle and Ajdin Hrustic in a more attacking central role.

STARTING XI: Ryan (GK, C); Grant, Sainsbury, Degenek, Behich; Jeggo, Irvine, Hrustic; Leckie, Boyle, Duke

Source link

Soccer

Liverpool warned what will cost them the Premier League title in Man City and Chelsea duel

Published

on

LIVERPOOL have been told what might make them slip up as they battle Man City and Chelsea for the Premier League title.

Source link

Continue Reading

Soccer

Tottenham's win over Norwich hands Antonio Conte unexpected January transfer solution

Published

on

TOTTENHAM defeated Norwich 3-0 in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.

Source link

Continue Reading

Soccer

FA Cup draw ball numbers: Third round ball number confirmed as Premier League teams enter

Published

on

FA CUP draw ball numbers have been confirmed for the third round, as Premier League and Championship teams enter the competition for the first time this season. These are the ball numbers to look out for during Monday’s FA Cup draw.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending