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Saturday, 14 April, 2001, 10:57 GMT 11:57 UK
Only two for Socceroos
Archie Thompson
Thompson scored 13 times against American Samoa
It was something of a comedown for the high-scoring Australian football team, when they only beat Fiji 2-0 in the Oceania group qualifier on Saturday.

Goals from Steve Corica and Hayden Foxe spared the Socceroos' blushes, but left them some way short of their recent goal tallies.

However the Fijian coach accused his opponents of pre-match unsettling tactics.

Billy Singh said the Australians had planted something smelly in the Fijian dressing room before the game in a ploy to throw them off their game.

"We thought it was a ploy of Australia," he said.

"It was not a Fijian that put it in there."

Five thousand fans were on hand in Coffs Harbour to witness the home team win a third consecutive group match that virtually guarantees them an Oceania play-off with likely foe New Zealand.

Corica gave Australia the lead midway through the first half with a strike from an acute angle.


We were up against a super team from Europe
  Billy Singh, Fiji coach
Hayden Foxe made it 2-0 when he turned brilliantly and drilled the ball home with 11 minutes to play.

The Fijians should have been level just before half-time however.

Leone Vurukania skipped by Con Boutsianis and found Josaia Sauturaga with a pin-point cross, but the youngster skied his shot when it would have been easier to score.

Australian coach Frank Farina was happy with the result, but disappointed to lose Coventry striker John Aloisi with a suspected hamstring injury.

"As I have been stressing all week the result is all we wanted," Farina said

"Our boys gave everything they had and that's all you can ask for....it's always difficult when they get everybody behind the ball."

His counterpart Singh, who was under pressure to get a result in this match, said his critics should be more than happy with a 2-0 result against an Australian side valued at several million dollars.

"We were against a super-team from Europe."

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12 Apr 01 |  Football
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