Group A: Match 8 - Australia defeats Solomons 5-0
The Under 23's were made to work for their 5-0 victory over the Solomon Islands with three goals coming in the second half.
Dylan MacAllister and Brett Holman gave Australia a two goal lead at half time, before Luke Wilkshire, Ryan Griffiths and Shane Cansdell-Sherriff rounded out the scoring.
As has been the case in their previous two matches, the Australians dominated possession but were having trouble breaking down the army of defenders presented before them.
The Solomons did press Australia more than their previous opponents, but retreated many men back when in defence.
Jade North and Ahmad Elrich continued their good form down the right flank, constantly threatening the Solomons goal with their testing crosses and clever movement.
In fact, it was a cross from North that broke the deadlock for Australia.
Northern Spirit striker MacAllister was on hand to slot home a cross by the Perth Glory defender from deep in the Solomons half.
Australia's next goal did not arrive until twenty minutes later when Holman netted his second of the tournament.
The Excelsior marksman was left with a simple tap in after Cansdell-Sherriff headed Alex Brosque's corner into his path to make the score 2-0.
There was much of the same after the break as the Under 23's continued to pepper the Solomons goal.
Frank Farina introduced Spase Dilevski for North and pushed Brosque into a strikers role, paving the way for Griffiths to come on for MacAllister.
The move paid almost instantaneous dividends, as both substitutes played heavy hands in Australia's coming goals.
Griffiths was brought down in the box by Jack Wasi, which allowed Bristol City midfielder Wilkshire to convert his second penalty of the tournament.
In ten more minutes Griffiths had a goal of his own after slamming a header in from an Ahmad Elrich cross that came about from a fantastic long ball from Dilevski.
Cansdell-Sherriff finished off the scoring in injury time when he nodded in a corner from Brosque.
The goal was just reward for the Denmark based defender, as he was easily one of Australia's best on the night.
Farina commended what was another solid performance from his team, but acknowledged the need for a rise in intensity for Thursday's crunch match with Fiji.
We definitely need to lift for Fiji," said Farina.
The passion and desire is there in every player, we just need to make it happen on the park.
The Solomons suffered their heaviest defeat of the tournament tonight, but coach Matai Vave believed it was their most thorough performance.
"We threw everything that we had left tonight," said Vave.
"We've got a lot to work on, but overall I was proud of the boys.
Having played both Australia and Fiji now, Vave thinks that the Fijians have what it takes to beat the host nation, but only if they get it right on the day.
"They have the height and the speed," said Vave.
"But they need to keep their discipline over the whole ninety minutes, if they can do that, they will be competitive."
Match 8: Australia vs Solomon Islands / Statistical Review
Full-time score: 5-0 (Australia)
Half-time score: 2-0 (Australia)
Date/Time: Tuesday, 20 January - 7:30pm (AEST)
Scorers: Australia - (12) Dylan Macallister 14'; (9) Brett Holman 34'; (10) Luke Wilkshire, pen 60'; (8) Ryan Griffiths 71'; (3) Shane Cansdell-Sherriff 92+
Weather: Overcast, warm
Crowd attendance: 2,000
Referee: Derek Rugg (New Zealand)
Assistant Referee 1: Paul Dunham (New Zealand)
Assistant Referee 2: Wayne Stapley (New Zealand)
Fourth Official: Neil Fox (New Zealand)
Match Commissioner: `Ahongalu Fusimalohi (Tonga)
Referee Inspector: Barry Such (Australia)
Team Line-ups (& Substitutes)
1. Eugen-Josip Galekovic (GK)
2. Jade North (-59')
3. Shane Cansdell-Sheriff
4. Ljubo Milicevic (c)
6. David Tarka
9. Brett Holman (-78')
10. Luke Wilkshire
11. Alex Brosque
12. Dylan Macallister (-59')
14. Ahmad Elrich
15. Carl Valeri
18. Michael Turnbull (RGK)
5. Jonathan McKain
7. Matthew McKay
8. Ryan Griffiths (+59')
13. Michael Beauchamp
16. Michael Thwaite
17. Anthony Pelikan (+78')
19. Nicholas Carle
20. Spase Dilevski (+59')
Coach: Frank Farina
20. Felix Ray Jr (GK)
3. Phillip Boe (c)
4. Dick Ngota
5. George Suri
6. Jerry Sam (-74')
7. Alick Maemae
8. Vivian Wickham (-78')
12. George Abba
17. Addyca Maeta
18. Henry Fa'arodo
19. Jack Wasi
1. Jeffrey Aruhe (RGK)
2. Tome Faisi
9. Simon Sau (+78')
10. Michael Misitana
11. Kidston Olomani
13. Clifford Huta
14. Benjamin Mela
15. Marshall Hiro (+74')
16. Lency Saeni
Coach: Matai Vave
Last Modified on 25/01/2004 13:13