Australia 0 - Australia U23

Misty rain did not dampen the enthusiam of a respectful crowd drawn to Marconi Stadium for the practice match between the Australian team and their Olympic Games team opponents. The young fans lined the tunnel to greet the players as they emerged.

The coach bringing the Socceroos was delayed by heavy traffic along Parramatta Road and the game did not get under way until 6.40, by which stage an 800 strong crowd had gathered, with a large number of youngsters among them.

Adrian Santrac took charge of the Olyroos with Raul Blanco commited to the senior side and he was delighted to see his team prevail 1-0.

After an even first half the Socceroos appeared to be getting on top but some solid defence and brilliant goalkeeping kept them out, one save from a great shot by Steve Corica drawing the most praise.

Clayton Zane sliced the ball just wide of the Socceroos' right upright from a very tight angle early in the second half of a game that was played at an easy tempo.The Olyroos had been in camp for a little while, but many of the Socceroos appeared jetlagged.

They were without late arrivals Stan Lazaridis and Paul Okon, due in later this week, while Olyroos Brett Emerton and Vince Grella joined the senior side for this preparation match for Saturday's big event at Stadium Australia.

Late in the game, as reported earlier by Bonnie, Kasey Werhman took on half the defence with a run that began from 40 yards out and then fired low past an exposed Zeljko Kalac after some clever footwork allowed him to reach the close confines of the goal.

The match marked the first time that the two Zelic brothers had played as opponents in a senior game.

written by Paul Goodwin