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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 March, 2004, 23:28 GMT 00:28 UK
Australia 1-0 South Africa
South Africa striker Shaun Bartlett
Bartlett missed South Africa's best chance
Marco Bresciano's first-half strike sealed victory for Australia over South Africa in a friendly at Loftus Road.

The Parma midfielder struck on 18 minutes to decide a fiercely-fought contest in front of a large crowd of ex-pats at the London home of Queens Park Rangers.

South Africa started the brighter and Sbusiso Zuma's powerful right-foot shot flew just over the bar.

Bafana Bafana continued to dominate the early exchanges and it was against the run of play when Australia took the lead.

Leeds' Mark Viduka - one of eight British-based players in Frank Farina's starting line-up - held the ball up brilliantly before delivering an overhead pass into the path of the breaking Bresciano who volleyed home.

Scott Chipperfield almost doubled Australia's lead when he seized on a mix-up in the South African defence only to see his lob over keeper Hans Vonk cleared off the line by Bradley Carnell.

Charlton Athletic's Shaun Bartlett wasted a fine opportunity to level on 37 minutes when he overran the ball after rounding Aussie keeper Mark Schwarzer.

Vonk saved from Stan Lazaridis early in the second half after the Birmingham midfielder collected a free kick from Bresciano. Vonk then punched away a Brett Emerton attempt as Australia pushed forward.

Australian midfielder Marco Bresciano
Bresciano struck the winner

Schwarzer saved a shot from Siyabonga Nomvete in the 61st minute with his feet, and Laziridis prevented Delron Buckley netting the rebound.

Buckley also sent a shot wide 10 minutes later and Nomvete's back heel from an Emile Baron corner went wide.

Australia's strong contingent of overseas including Viduka and Harry Kewell, who both missed Australia's 1-1 friendly draw in Venezuela on Feb. 18.

Soccer Australia officials invoked a Fifa rule preventing him from playing for Leeds after the failed to accept his reason for failing to travel to Caracas.

Australia had 26-year-old Massimiliano Vieri, the younger brother of Italy and Inter Milan star Christian, on the bench.

Millwall midfielder Tim Cahill made his Australia debut as a second half substitute after a nine-year quest to represent Australia.

Cahill, who spent five minutes playing for Western Samoa as a teenager, was granted permission in February.


Australia: Schwartzer, Neill, Moore, Popovic, Skoko, Kewell (Zdrilic 64), Lazaridis, Bresciano (Cahill 75), Chipperfield, Viduka (Aloisi 64), Emerton (Sterjovski 75).

South Africa: Vonk, Molefe, Carnell (Morris 33), Mokoena, Mabizela, Mguni (Davids 59), Pienaar (Vilakazi 74), Nomvete, Zuma, Buckley, Bartlett.

Referee: Mark Halsey (England)




SEE ALSO
South Africa seek new start
30 Mar 04  |  African
McCarthy misses Australia game
17 Mar 04  |  African
South Africa appoint Baxter
24 Mar 04  |  African



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