- Australia's path to the London Olympic Games 2012


Men's Football - Qualifier for Asian to the 2012 London Olympic Games

Australia 3 - Yemen 0

Olyroos take 3-0 lead in first leg over Yemen

Australia's men's Olympic football team has dominated and defeated Yemen 3-0 in the first leg of their London 2012 Olympic Games Asian Qualification Preliminary Round 2 matches held today at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford in front of 2,597 fans.

After defeating Singapore in the first two legs of the 1st preliminary round, the Yemeni team had had little preparation and only arrived on Friday.

Coach Abraham Mebratu said after the game that they had no futher friendlies after the 1st round and with the Yemeni league in recess the team was at a disadvantage, especially as they were playing in cool conditions rather that the present hot weather in Yemen.

Australia had by far the better of the game, but despite Jason Hoffman bagging himself a brace, and Mitch Nicholls adding another, it should really have been a bigger scoreline.

The first goal came in the 14th minute when Marko Jesic took a short corner on the left, and Matthew Jurman’s header was blocked by a Yemeni defender. Sebastian Ryall was on hand to cross the rebound toward Jason Hoffman at the left upright who used his height for an easy header from close range and into the net. 1-0

With Australia pressing but some well marshalled defence by yemen it wasn't until the 30th minute that Yemen got a ball into the danger zone, but Mohammed Al Khadher Al Anbari shot along the ground to the Olyroo 'keeper Andrew Redmayne.

In the 56th minute Marko Jesic shot after some great combined lead up work but the Yemeni 'keeper Shukri Salem Abdullah did very well to dive to his right to save, One minute later substitute Aaron Mooy got up on the right but his shot across goal rebounded off the left upright and into the 'keeper's arms.

The second goal eventually came in the 67th minute when Jason Hoffman squared the ball to Mitch Nicholls, who unmarked was able to side-foot the ball past the Yemeni goalkeeper. 2-0

Andrew Redmayne had two moments of action in the 79th and 81st minute as the Yemeni's galiantly tried to get back into the game but the Olyroos regained the momentum.

In stoppage time Aziz Behich went on a weaving run down the left before sending a through ball to Jason Hoffman in the centre. The big striker hit the right post with his first attempt but it came back to him, and he sunk it to make it 3-0, game over!

Abraham Mebratu said that he thought Australia are a good team with lots of experience, and although he was very dissapointed that Yemen conceded the third goal he was hopefull that they could be better prepared and do well in the 2nd game on Thurday.

Australian coach Aurelio Vidmar said "I am very happy with a 3-0 result; it could have been more. We missed some really easy chances and their goalkeeper made some outstanding saves as well - and now we’ll hopefully go to Newcastle and finish it off".

The next leg is at 'Ausgrid' Stadium in Newcastle on Thursday 23rd June (Kick-off 6:30pm).The 12 winners from the round will advance to the third round, whose draw is scheduled for July 7 at AFC House in Malaysia.

The 12 teams will be divided into three groups of four teams each in the third round and play on a home-and-away format from 21 September, 2011 to 14 March, 2012, determining the winners who will represent the continent at the Olympics in London, England.

Three second-placed teams from the third round will clash in a playoff at a centralised venue from 25 to 29 March, 2012, and the winners of this group will meet the representatives of CAF for a berth in the Olympics.

Report by Chris Dunkerley

At Central Coast Stadium, Gosford - Sunday 19 June, 2011

(Photos Chris Dunkerley for BOTN)

Australia 3 (Jason Hoffman 14’, 90'+2, Mitch Nichols 67’)
Yemen 0

Crowd: 2,597


AUSTRALIA : 1.Andrew Redmayne (gk), 2.Sebastian Ryall, 4.Matthew Jurman, 5.Aziz Behich, 6.Oliver Bozanic (c), 7.Isaka Cernak (8. Aaron Mooy 46’), 9. Jason Hoffman, 10. Mitch Nicholls (17. Kofi Danning 79’), 11. Rocco Visconte (16. Mustafa Amini +72’), 14.Marko Jesic, 20. Matthew Foschini
Subs not used: 3. Ryan McGowan, 13. Diogo Ferreira, 15. Scott Neville, 18. Dean Bouzanis (rgk)

Yellow Cards: Mitch Nichols 19’

Coach: Aurelio Vidmar (Assistant: Paul Okon)

YEMEN : 1. Shukri Salem Abdullah (gk), 3. Nateq Hezam Qaid Rageh, 4. Ebrahim Mohammed Ali Gehamah, 7. Najib Ahmed Qaid Al-Haddad, 8. Yaser Yahya Al-Shaibani (2. Ali Abdulkareem Ali Qasem +86’), 9. Mohammed Al Khadher Al Anbari, 10. Samer Hasan Sulaiman, 11. Munassar Awadh Ba Haj (c), 14. Aiman Saleh Abdullah Al-Hagri (17. Mohsen Mohammed Hasan +70’), 15. Ammar Abdullah Qaid, 16. Kameel Tareq Othman Mohammed (13. Ahmed Ali Mohammed Aldhahri +70’)
Subs not used: 5. Amgad Abdullah Khairan, 6. Abdulaziz Mohammed Al-Gumaei, 12. Mohammed Mahmood Al-Muntaser, 18. Esam Abdo Qasem Al Hakimi (rgk)

Yellow Cards: Samer Hasan Sulaiman 67’, Munassar Awadh Ba Haj 67’, Mohammed Al Khadher Al Anbar 69’

Coach: Abraham Mebratu Gebreslassie

Referee: Hai Tun (China PR), Rating: 7/10
Assistant referees: Yuxim Mu (China PR) & Gjige Su (China PR); Fourth Official: Zhao Liang (China PR)
Match Commissioner: Abdul Ghafoor Abdul Hameed (Maldives); Referee Inspector: Jindamai Russamee (Thailand)

AFC stats
AFC Results and standings link

Game ratings: 7/10
Pitch rating: 7/10 (still a little damp underfoot)

(Australia starting lineup - All Photos Chris Dunkerley for BOTN)

(Yemen starting lineup)

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