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Rediff.com  » Sports » Australia edge Indonesia to book Asian Cup berth

Australia edge Indonesia to book Asian Cup berth

March 03, 2010 18:25 IST

Australia booked a place at the 2011 Asian Cup by beating Indonesia 1-0 with a goal from Mark Milligan in their final Group B qualifier on Wednesday.

Australia's Josh Kennedy (left) and Indonesia's Nova Arianto are caught in an aerial challenge during their 2011 AFC Asian Cup qualifying match on WednesdayOn a muggy night at the half-empty Suncorp Stadium defender Milligan got his first goal for Australia three minutes before half-time although he was fortunate to score.

Milligan succeeded at the second attempt, hammering home a shot from a tight angle that was deflected off goalkeeper Markus Rihihina into the net after the defender had shouldered his first effort against the frame of the goal.

"I don't mind how it comes, it's my first goal for the national team," Milligan told ABC Radio. "I was lucky it fell nicely for me off the crossbar, it doesn't happen often."

Without most of their European-based players, Australia, who only needed a point to qualify, dominated for long spells and should have won by a more comfortable margin against their defensive-minded opponents.

The result meant Australia finished their Group B campaign with 11 points from six matches.

Oman were hosting Kuwait in the final match in the group later on Wednesday with the visitors, currently one point ahead of their opponents in the standings, needing to avoid defeat to join the Socceroos at the 16-team finals in Qatar in January.

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