SYDNEY - Josh Kennedy celebrated his
return to Australian colours after an eight-month absence with
two goals as the Socceroos beat neighbours New Zealand 3-0 in a
friendly at a rain-soaked Adelaide Oval on Sunday.
The 28-year-old striker, who missed Australia's run to the
Asian Cup Final earlier this year with a back problem, made the
most of a mix-up in the 10th minute and slack defending in the
59th to score his eighth and ninth international goals.
Local midfielder James Troisi later capped a fine
performance by rounding off the scoring with a penalty deep into
Weakened by injury and jet-lagged after their journey from
the United States, where they lost 3-0 to Mexico on Wednesday,
New Zealand created precious few scoring chances and the
profligate Socceroos should have won more convincingly.
Coach Holger Osieck, whose charges beat his native Germany
in March, was satisfied with an eighth win in 13 matches since
he took over last year, particularly in the absence of Tim
Cahill, Harry Kewell and Mark Schwarzer.
"There were a lot of positives and I got what I wanted to
see," he said in a televised interview. "I think overall apart
from the score and the overall performance, I think today I
found a lot more depth for the future.
"We created some excellent stuff up front but we weren't
clinical enough to finish and that is definitely something I
dislike," he added.
Kennedy had a couple of glaring misses but made no mistake
when a miscommunication between All Whites Jeremy Brockie and
Glen Ross allowed him to disposess goalkeeper Ross and fire the
ball into an empty net after 10 minutes.
Forward Chris Wood blasted New Zealand's best chance over
the bar just after the break before Kennedy rosed unmarked to
double the lead with a free header from a Dario Vidosic corner
just ahead of the hour mark.
New Zealand were well beaten by the time Ben Sigmund brought
down livewire striker Robbie Kruse three minutes into injury
time to allow Troisi his moment of glory in front of his
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