Goalkeeper Adam Federici and midfielder Brett Holman starred as the
Socceroos and Serbia played out an entertaining 0-0 draw in their
international in Melbourne on Tuesday night.
Federici made four excellent second half saves, while Holman turned in his usual all-action performance.
a game with chances on tap but no one able to extricate water, both
sides had chances to win the rematch of the World Cup showdown in South
Africa last year won by the Socceroos.
Australia had several
golden opportunities to break the deadlock, with midfielder Mile
Jedinak’s first-half shot blocked by a Serbian defender their best of
the first half.
Serbia’s best hope was fluffed badly by
midfielder Adem Ljajic, who somehow shot over the bar on 40 minutes from
five metres out.
As both sides continued to pass slickly in the
second half, Federici was called into action twice in two minutes early
in the period.
First he saved brilliantly at the feet of Serb midfielder Zoran Tosic, who dribbled past several Socceroos defenders.
Then he saved from Ljajic – just minutes before a flare thrown by Serbian fans landed menacingly just metres behind his goal.
Holman’s tireless running then started to pay off.
shot just over the bar in the 61st minute, before three minutes later
scraping paint off the left-hand upright with a thundering low shot
reminiscent of his World Cup goal against Serbia.
Federici then managed two more excellent diving saves, stopping from Nenad Tomovic and Radosav Petrovic late in the half.
in between was Australia’s best chance of the match, with neat build-up
putting substitute James Troisi one-on-one with the goalkeeper only to
shoot weakly in the 79th minute.
The result against the world
No.16 Serbia takes Socceroos coach Holger Osieck’s record to eight wins,
four draw and two losses from his 14 matches in charge.