The Socceroos produced one of the biggest wins in the national team’s history by upsetting heavyweights Germany 2-1 in Wednesday morning’s friendly in Monchengladbach.
Two goals in three minutes in the second half set up the win in front of just over 30,000 fans at Borussia Park.
German striker Mario Gomez opened the scoring in the 26th minute, and the hosts appeared in total control before David Carney equalised in the 61st minute thanks to a delicate ball from Matt McKay.
Only a minute later Kewell was again tormenting the World Cup semifinalists, this time being brought down by Christian Trasch in the area with referee Stephane Lannoy pointing to the spot.
Luke Wilkshire calmly put away the penalty in the 63rd minute, drilling the ball home as goalkeeper Tim Wiese dove to his right.
The Germans pressed and pressed in the final stages but were unable to stop Australia from posting a massive result following last year’s 4-0 defeat at the World Cup in South Africa.
The win also provided Socceroos coach Holger Osieck with a victory over his homeland.
“Well I’m really proud of the boys and they did a great job and the only thing I said to them after the game was thank you very much from the bottom of my heart,” Osieck told Fox Sports.
“I don’t care what they say I am really happy about our performance, particularly the second half. The boys did so well and it was a great performance and it’s a reason to be proud.”
Australia made only one change from the side that lost January’s Asian Cup final to Japan in extra time in Qatar.
Brett Emerton came into the starting lineup with Brett Holman moving into the vacant striker’s role left by the injured Tim Cahill (foot).
The hosts named only three starters from the side that humbled Kazakhstan 4-0 in Saturday night’s Euro 2012 qualifier with five others parked on the bench.
Despite resting stars such as Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira and Philip Lahm, the hosts still put a side packed with quality on the park.
On the eve of the match, Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness showed scant regard for the Socceroos by comparing them to a reserves team in the Bundesliga.
Hoeness claimed “a match between Bayern’s A and B teams is more intense” than a clash with Australia.
He might be thinking a little differently now.
Australia kept on providing Germany with free kicks in inviting positions in the first half, but it was some sloppy passing in the Socceroos' own half that led to the breakthrough.
Andre Schurrle slipped a ball in the path of Gomez and from the edge of the area, the Bundesliga goal machine curled the ball neatly into the top left corner.
Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer had no chance of stopping it, and the opener appeared to spark the home side.
However there was a bit of encouragement for the Australians at the other end as well with Luke Wilkshire’s crosses causing some troubles for German’s backline.
Emerton just could not manage to get enough power on his header in the 29th minute, while Mile Jedinak’s powerful header from a corner went straight to Weise just before the break.
The home side dominated the opening quarter of an hour of the second half before Carney and McKay combined to turn the tide with a brilliant one-two.
The goals immediately prompted Germany to make substitutions, and Schurrle had a good look at goal in the 69th minute, but Schwarzer raced out and blocked his shot.
Sasa Ognenovski then made up for a defensive error in the 78th minute by just putting enough pressure on Miroslav Klose to force the striker to push his shot wide.
In the 89th minute, Klose hit the deck under pressure from Socceroos Lucas Neill with the German crowd calling for the penalty.
But Lannoy instead handed the striker a card for diving, and Australia held on for a memorable victory.
The Germans are the latest big-name scalp for the Socceroos in the past decade. Australia defeated the Netherlands in Eindhoven in 2008 and England at Upton Park in 2003.
As a proud Aussie, I’m delighted with this result, I was in shock as I watched it unfold.
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