AUSTRALIA has advanced to the semi finals of the OCEANIA NATIONS CUP being played in Tahiti, with a 6-0 victory over the SOLOMON ISLANDS, at the Stade de Pater tonight.
All six of the LG Socceroo goals came in the first half, with a spirited fight back by the Solomons containing the Australian attack in the second half.
SCOTT CHIPPERFIELD began proceedings in the sixth minute, latching onto a pass from Captain PAUL OKON to take Australia up 1-0.
Seven minutes later, CLAYTON ZANE continued his goal scoring form after being put through by STEVE CORICA, while at the other end, goalkeeper ZELJKO KALAC was finally called into action in the 26th minute, to make his first real save of the tournament.
ZANE netted his second of the evening in the 35th minute and virtually set up the next goal a minute later, providing the cross which led to an own goal by Gideon Omokirio.
Three minutes later, first half replacement PABLO CARDOZO was brought down in the penalty area, with KEVIN MUSCAT converting for 5-0, while CARDOZO scored his first goal for Australia in the 43rd minute after a BRETT EMERTON shot rebounded of the cross bar.
Two second half replacements by the SOLOMON ISLANDS brought extra spark, a spate of yellow cards and more work for Kalac in the second forty five but no goals, with the final score-line 6-0 to the LG Socceroos.
"I was reasonably happy with the first half, but the second half showed what Ive been trying to stress to the boys for the last ten days," said LG Socceroo Coach FRANK FARINA after the game.
"We lost our concentration, we lost motivation and discipline, and with no disrespect intended toward our opposition, we played down to their level.
"We now have a very short preparation for the semi in two days, so we need to refresh the players, but tonight was definitely a game of two halves, and if we had to learn the lesson, then it was better learned tonight than later in the tournament." Farina concluded.
AUSTRALIA now plays the winner of tonights second match between TAHITI and VANUATU in the first semi final, while NEW ZEALAND takes on the SOLOMON ISLANDS in the second.