Men's: AFC Asian Cup 2011 Finals - Group C

Australia hang on to win and progress
By BOTN

4:15pm (12:15am AEDT), Tueaday 18 January, 2011
at Al-Sadd/Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha, Qatar


Australia 1
(Mile Jedinak 37')
defeated
Bahrain 0

Australia defeated Bahrain 1-0 tonight in the final Group C game in this tournament through a 37 minute piledriver by Mile Jedinak. The Socceroos top the group and progress to the quarter finals along with South Korea who also won 4-1 over India.

Australian midfielder Mile Jedinak scored the game’s only goal – his second in as many games – to hand his side their second win of the tournament.

Both sides were clearly eager to get their noses in front early on as Brett Emerton swept a low shot just wide of the post after three minutes while Bahrain first threatened two minutes later when Hamad Rakea’s shot flew over the crossbar.

But the rain that had been falling consistently throughout the day clearly had its effect on playing conditions and both sides struggled to create chances in the following minutes with Australia having to wait until the 18th minute to create their second chance when Tim Cahill’s shot was wide of the left upright.

Bahrain went close in the 27th minute when Abdulla Fatadi’s effort went over the crossbar just three minutes before Jedinak fired over in similar fashion at the other end.

Mark Schwarzer was first called into action just after the half hour mark as Abdulla Fatadi made his way into the area before passing to Ismaeel Abdulatif, whose close-range shot was denied by the Fulham keeper.

Harry Kewell brought out a save from Bahrain keeper Mahmood Mansoor soon after but Australia took the lead in the 37th minute when Mile Jedinak embarked on a good run before sending a powerful shot from distance into the back of the net.

Jedinak nearly doubled his side’s advantage three minutes later but this time Mansoor was equal to his rasping drive from a fre-kick, palming the shot around his upright.

Seeing their qualification chances slipping away, Bahrain went on the attack in the second half and they should have levelled the scores five minutes after the break but Abdulatif’s shot from point blank range was blocked by Schwarzer.

Schwarzer parried a stinging shot off Abdulatif in the 51st minute.

The Socceroos could have had a second seven minutes into the second period when Kewell broke the offside trap before rounding Mansour but his cross was headed wide by Cahill despite the Everton marksman having the goal at his mercy.

Schwarzer was very busy and made another crucial intervention from a well-hit Abdulatif shot midway through the half, pushing the ball around the post at full stretch to his left - which proved to be the last real chance for the Bahrainis as Australia successfully closed out the remainder of the match to seal the victory.

Australia coach Holger Osieck hailed the performance of Mark Schwarzer after the Fulham keeper pulled off a number of vital saves. ""We know the quality that Mark has to offer to the team and I'm happy to have him there," Osieck said of the Socceroos’ shot-stopper who was recognised for his contribution by being named MVP of the match. He had an excellent performance and made some good saves, especially in the second half. He kept us in the game and we must give him credit." "It was a very tough game as Bahrain had a good performance and they gave us a hard time and we had to fight until the end," added Osieck. "However, we won the points at the end and we are top of the group. It is a positive thing for us before the next stage and hopefully we can carry on."

Bahrain coach Salman Sharida could not fault the performance of his side despite seeing their AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™ campaign brought to an end.

Australia now play either Iran or Iraq in a quarter final on Saturday night. ""We have had a good performance tonight and we were the better side as we controlled the game and we were organised. We got into the Australian area a lot but we missed a lot of chances. Missing chances in such a game is not acceptable as we wanted to get the three points but we played against an experienced side who have a lot of good players. I'm satisfied with the performance though and satisfied with the work that I have done in the past two months. Our players were strong and they showed good spirit in the game."



4:15pm (12:15am AEDT), Tueaday 18 January, 2011
at Al-Sadd/Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha, Qatar

Australia 1
(Mile Jedinak 37')
defeated
Bahrain 0

    Crowd: 3,919

    MATCH STATS:

    Australia :
    Player listing:
    1 Mark Schwarzer (gk), 2. Lucas Neill, 6. Sasa Ognenovski, 13. Jade North (20. Neil Kilkenny +82'), 16. Carl Valeri, 15. Mile Jedinak, 14. Brett Holman, 17. Matt McKay, 7. Brett Emerton, 4. Tim Cahill (23. Robbie Kruse +90'), 10. Harry Kewell (9. Scott McDonald +76')

    Substitutes not used: 18. Brad Jones (rgk), 20. Matthew Spiranovic, 19. Tommy Oar, 21. Jon McKain, 3. David Carney, etc.

    Coach: Holger Osieck (Germany)

    Yellow Cards: Brett Emerton 42', Brett Holman 86'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Bahrain :
    Player listing:
    1. Mahmood Abdulla (gk), 3. Abdulla Marzooq, 4. Abdulla Adi, 7. Hamad Alanezi, 8. Jaycee Okwunwaqnne (20. Abdulla Aldakeel +66'), 11. Ismael Hasan, 13. Mahmood Abdulrahman (2. Rashed Alhooti +55'), 14. Salman Ali (9. Abdul Almalood +90'), 15. Abdulla Omar, 18. Abdul Asafi, 23. Ebrahim Meshkhas

    Substitutes not used: tba, 21. Ahmed Mushaima (rgk)

    Coach: Salman Sharida

    Yellow Cards: Abdulla Fatadi 65', Jaycee Okwunwaqnne 29', Abdul Asafi 71', Ebrahim Meshkhas 23'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Yuichi Nishimura (Japan) 7/10
    Assistants: Sagara Toru, Nagi Toshiyuki (both Japan)

    Best players: Australia: Mark Schwarzer, Mile Jedinak

    Pitch rating: 8/10

    Game rating: 8/10

    Match Report by AFC and BOTN, Stats by AFC and BOTN


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