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Australia suffer narrow defeat in first play-off leg (

13 nov 2005 - Source:

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Guus Hiddink still has a chance to guide the Australian national team to a spot in the World Cup 2006 in Germany, following a narrow 1-0 defeat in the first play-off game against Uruguay on Saturday night. The return leg is scheduled for next Wednesday in Sydney. Early goalOnly three minutes were on the clock when Dario Rodriguez scored an early goal for his side in the first crucial play-off qualifying game against Australia that had included PSV player Jason Culina in their starting line-up. The Socceroos , however, were not intimidated and put on a disciplined and well-organized display. Mark Viduka earned as many as three opportunities to level the score and the hosts had little to offer. The second half continued in the same vein. Both teams had their moments, but did not succeed in taking their chances. So if Australia, who will have home advantage in Sidney on Wednesday night, can claim a two-goal win, they will be allowed to show their skills at a World Cup final for the first time since 1974.The other play off gamesAnother Dutch coach, Leo Beenhakker, who takes charge of Trinidad & Tobago, saw his side earn a 1-1 draw against Bahrain. Spain thrashed Slovakia 5-1 at home. The Czech Republic travelled to Norway, where they clinched a 0-1 win. Switzerland saw off Turkey 2-0 at home. Former PSV midfielder Johann Vogel was given a place in the starting line-up and Johan Vonlanthen, on loan at NAC Breda, was brought on a substitute. Philippe Senderos (41') and Valon Behrami (86') had their names on the score sheet for Switzerland.