Australia 1-0 New Zealand: Socceroos win final home game before World Cup

A long-range rocket from Awer Mabil was the bright spot as the Socceroos beat New Zealand 1-0 in their World Cup farewell in Brisbane.

A staggering 11 years since the teams last meeting, it was Australia’s first game since qualifying for the World Cup and last on home soil before the Qatar showpiece in November.

Aside from Mabil’s 33rd minute strike, it was far from pretty for the hosts on a wet Thursday night at Suncorp Stadium.

The 27-year-old looked dangerous in space, curling his first long-range effort just wide of the right post before nailing the encore in the opposite corner minutes later.

It was Mabil’s eighth goal for his country but first in Australia, coming on the back of his move to Spanish La Liga outfit Cadix CF.

Sloppy defence in the first half wasn’t exploited by an All Whites side that looked sharp despite their Cup qualification near-miss in June.

Socceroos’ substitute Mat Leckie’s shot was deflected onto the post after Martin Boyle’s fast break, a stand-out moment in a relatively subdued second half.

Arnold, who enjoyed former mentor Guus Hiddink’s cameo as assistant coach, made five changes to the side that started against Peru in their World Cup qualifier.

But there were no major experiments, the many fresh faces included in the 31-strong squad lining the bench with a rematch on Sunday in Auckland their target.

Adam Taggart and Ajdin Hrustic subbed for Maclaren and McGree early in the second half, while Leckie and Nathaniel Atkinson replaced Mabil and Fran Karacic with 20 minutes to play.

Joel King and Connor Metcalfe then played the final minutes, on for Jackson Irvine and Aziz Behich.

Australia were shaky early and Trent Sainsbury was at the centre of it, the defender’s first pass lobbing into the danger zone and then another poor touch gifting the All Whites another golden chance.

They took neither though, Sainsbury then denied a goal of his own when Jackson Irvine was deemed to have knocked down a defender in a goal-mouth scramble from a corner.

Sainsbury had poked the ball into the corner, replays suggesting the defender had simply slipped.

Empoli talent Liberato Cacace proved a menace on the left edge for New Zealand without finding the net, while Newcastle United striker Chris Wood was physical up front in a friendly that had plenty of spark 100 years on from the teams’ first meeting.

Re-live Sportsmail’s live coverage of Australia 1-0 New Zealand, brought to you by OLLIE LEWIS.

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  • 6 минут назад 25.09.2022Sport
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    Long-time Geelong water boy Sam Moorfoot was lifted over the fence by skipper Joel Selwood to celebrate with the team on the MCG in heart-warming scenes.

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    Chief of which was MP Bill Shorten, currently the Minister for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

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    Aaron Judge frustrated over close check swing call in the slugger’s final at-bat of the day

    In his pursuit of a record-tying 61st home run, Aaron Judge has been stymied by tough pitches and tough calls.

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  • 6 минут назад 25.09.2022Sport
    NFL could have sold THREE MILLION tickets for Bucs-Seahawks game in Munich, says chief

    It doesn’t take Brett Gosper long to bring Germany’s passion for the NFL to life.

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    ‘We also reconfigured some of the locker rooms to get the right space, the right number of showers and so on.’

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  • 6 минут назад 25.09.2022Sport
    LeBron James asks if he’s eligible to compete in college football after playing another sport

    On another exciting and wild college football Saturday, professional basketball’s ‘King’ seemed to be watching along with the country.

    LeBron James took to Twitter on Saturday afternoon, joking that he seemed interested in going to college to join a football team.

    ‘Do I have college eligibility if I went to play another sport besides basketball? How does that rule work?,’ James tweeted out.

    James was drafted first overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2003 Draft right out of high school.

    While he played at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio, he played football for two seasons and was considered the top football prospect in the state.

    He was being recruited to play wide receiver at schools like Notre Dame, Ohio State, Alabama, and Miami (FL).

    However, his desire to play in the NBA was never in doubt and he’s gone on to become one of the greatest players the game has ever seen.

    James has stuck around the game of football. He’s been seen rooting for the Cleveland Browns and the Ohio State Buckeyes multiple times.

    While it may seem that he wants to play football, his $97.1million contract extension he signed this summer runs until the 2024-25 season.

    The Lakers star has also made it clear that he wants to play in the NBA with his two sons Bronny and Bryce. Bronny is set to graduate high school this year, meaning by the 2023-24 season, he could be in the NBA.

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Sport Australia 1-0 New Zealand: Socceroos win final home game before World Cup