Group A: Match 3 - Aussies thump PNG 9-0

SYDNEY: Australia's so-called second string Under 23 team has given coach Frank Farina plenty to think about with a comprehensive 9-0 thrashing of Papua New Guinea at Marconi Stadium last night.

Australia led 4-0 by half time and like they did against Samoa racked up five second half goals and made it two wins from two games to confirm its favouritism to win Group A.

The two starting strikers Dylan Macallister and Nick Carle both scored a brace of goals. Just four players from the starting eleven against Samoa started the game.

The 9-0 score line was a fair reflection of the diligence shown in front of goal by the home side, an element found wanting against Samoa.
I think we finished better tonight than what we did Wednesday," said Farina. "But the boys kept it up for the whole 90 minutes and I think did very well.

Macallister looked a man on a mission as he put himself about both on the ground and in the air and it was little surprise when he opened the scoring after just eight minutes.

A few minutes earlier he got clear in the box and shot across the face of goal, but when the ever-dangerous Ahmad Elrich crossed deep to the far post, Macallister ghosted in behind the PNG keeper Bai to head home.

Bai was doing his best to deny Australia as well, with a good full stretch save to deny Alex Brosque from a 25-metre free kick and then another flying save to stop a Ljubo Milicevic header.

However a second goal was on the cards and it arrived in the 31st minute, when Carle's skilful turn took him away from two defenders and to the by-line where he was able to cross. Elrich was on hand to volley in his third goal of the tournament.

Jon McKain made it 3-0 in the 38th minute, stroking home from seven metres following a corner and then the impressive Spase Dilevski grabbed a goal before the break.

Elrich and Brosque came off at half time with Ryan Griffiths and Matt McKay coming on, but the changes didn't stifle Australia's momentum as they continued to after the break.

Jade North curled in a terrific goal from well outside the box soon after the break. Thwaite laid on the next goal in the 64th minute with a ball from the deep that Macallister did very well to get his head to in front of the advancing Bai.
Five minutes later Carle scored a deserved goal with a cracking shot from the edge of the box and it looked as though double-figures might be reached.

Carle then showed his full brand of skills by somehow dancing past three players in a crowded box to poke home and then within a minute Pelikan finally had his goal when McKay put him through into the box to stroke past a badly exposed Bai, who could do little to stop the onslaught.

While it was a solid team performance by Australia, there were notable performances especially from youngsters Spase Dilevski and Michael Thwaite.

Papua New Guinea coach Robert Popat remained philosophical, despite the monumental loss suffered by his charges.
Despite the score line, I'm happy with the performance of our boys," said the affable New Guinean with a wry smile.
"They did their best and they did it for their country." - By Benjamin Coonan

Match 3: Australia vs Papua New Guinea / Statistical Review
Full-time score: 9-0 (Australia)
Half-time score: 4-0 (Australia)

Date/Time: Friday, 16 January - 5:00pm (AEST)

Scorers: Australia - (12) Dylan MacAllister 8', 63'; (14) Ahmad Elrich 30'; (5) Jon McKain 38'; (20) Spase Dilevski 42'; (2) Jade North 55'; (19) Nick Carle 66', 73'; (17) Anthony Pelikan 74

Cautions: PNG - (16) Kialou Porou 51'
Expulsions: none

Weather: Overcast, light rain, humid
Crowd attendance: 1290

Match Officials:
Referee: Lencie Fred (Vanuatu)
Assistant Referee 1: Tony Maltetamat (Vanuatu)
Assistant Referee 2: Tevita Vea (Tonga)
Fourth Official: Neil Fox (New Zealand)

Match Commissioner: `Ahongalu Fusimalohi (Tonga)
Referee Inspector: Barry Such (Australia)

Team Line-ups (& Substitutes)
AUSTRALIA

18. Michael Turnbull (GK)
2. Jade North
5. Jonathan McKain
4. Ljubo Milicevic (c) (-56)
11. Alex Brosque (-45')
12. Dylan Macallister
14. Ahmad Elrich (-45')
16. Michael Thwaite
17. Anthony Pelikan
19. Nicholas Carle
20. Spase Dilevski
Subs:
1. Eugen-Josip Galekovic (RGK)
3. Shane Cansdell-Sheriff
6. David Tarka
7. Matthew McKay (+45')
8. Ryan Griffiths (+45')
9. Brett Holman
10. Luke Wilkshire
13. Michael Beauchamp (+56')
15. Carl Valeri

Coach: Frank Farina

PAPUA NEW GUINEA
1. Ludwig Bai (GK)
4. Ravu Habuka
5. Brian Tuhiana
6. Alexander Davani (c)
10. Nathaniel Lepani
12. Adrian Komu (-18')
13. Russell Inai
14. Armstrong Peka
16. Kialou Porou (-66')
17. Maurie Wasi (-61')
18. Eric Komeng
Subs:
2. Elijah Sigamata
7. Sovera Guti
8. Abraham Enoch (+18')
9. Richard Sios
15. Nathaniel Pomat
19. Selan Lelai
20. Richard Lapan (RGK)
21. Chique Posman (+61')
22. Ricky Mesak (+66')

Coach: Robert Popat


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