Late Leckie strike secures Socceroos victory over Greece

A strike from substitute Mathew Leckie deep into stoppage time sealed a 1-0 victory for a dominant Australia against Greece at Sydney's ANZ Stadium.

Mathew Leckie

Mathew Leckie celebrates scoring the winner for the Socceroos. (AAP) Source: AAP



Both teams created opportunities, yet it was the Socceroos who had the better of them and should have found the net on one or two occasions.

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Tim Cahill thought he'd led the home side to victory again when he headed in from a corner in the dying minutes, but it was ultimately ruled out as the ball was deemed to have crossed the byline beforehand.

Just as it seemed the match would finish scoreless, Leckie popped up to score the winner for the Socceroos and delight the nearly 40,000 fans in attendance.

Jason Geria made his full debut for the Socceroos, while it was a first start for Milos Degenek and a return for Nathan Burns, as Australia switched back to a 4-3-3 formation.

Despite the soggy conditions, both sides had early sights of goal, yet none was able to truly trouble the goalkeepers. Although Greece's number one Orestis Karneziswas forced off with injury in just the 15th minute, after he had earlier collided with Mile Jedinak.

Australia began to assert their dominance midway through the first half and Mark Milligan came close from a long range effort after latching on to a Greek mistake near the penalty area.

The home side came even closer five minutes later after a Burns cross took a wicked deflection and forced substitute 'keeper Stefanos Kapino to tip it over the top corner.

Australia were pouring pressure on the Greek goal. Milligan latched on to an Burns cut back from the byline and forced Kapino to beat the shot away at full stretch.

The Socceroos continued to create openings after the interval and a delightful passage of play led to a perfect Geria pass across goal for Apostos Giannou, who missed the target, but was offside in any case.

With the host's needing to sharpen up their attack, coach Ange Postecoglou brought on talisman Cahill for the final 20 minutes.

Fellow substitute Tom Rogic was also proving a menace to the Greek defence and from one of his incisive passes, Trent Sainsbury found himself just outside the six-yard box, but saw his shot hit the 'keeper and the frame of the goal.

With just over a minute to goal, Cahill headed in from a corner and thought he'd scored, but it was ruled out as the officials had deemed the ball went out before finding the striker.

Yet the Socceroos still managed to snatch a late winner as Leckie fired a shot into the bottom corner.


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3 min read
Published 4 June 2016 at 8:26pm
Source: SBS