Kewell And Elrich Make Surprise Starts
Qantas Socceroo striker Harry Kewell made a surprise start for Liverpool yesterday, playing 75 minutes in the 2-0 loss at Fulham. The match was also significant for Kewell’s Qantas Socceroo team mate Ahmad Elrich, who made his starting debut for Fulham.
Qantas Socceroo striker Harry Kewell made a surprise start for Liverpool yesterday, playing 75 minutes in the 2-0 loss at Fulham. The match was also significant for Kewell-s Qantas Socceroo team mate Ahmad Elrich, who made his starting debut for Fulham.
Kewell only returned to the playing field midweek, coming off the bench for a 15 minute burst in the Champions League following a lengthy absence through injury.
Most expected the same for his first Premier League game in almost six months, but his Liverpool coach Raphael Benitez put him on from the start. With just 15 minutes match fitness under his belt, it was perhaps little wonder Kewell had little impact on the match.
However having got through 75 minutes of playing time, it all bodes well for the crucial World Cup play-off games which are only three weeks away. The more playing time Kewell gets with Liverpool, the better his chances of playing a significant part in the play-off games, which would no doubt be a boost to Guus Hiddink.
Kewell has another four games with Liverpool before the two matches against Uruguay and is expected to start in Tuesday-s Carling Cup match against Crystal Palace.
Elrich was replaced at the same time as Kewell and had an early chance to Fulham in front but scooped his shot over the bar. The Fulham website said Elrich worked hard throughout his time on the pitch.
Another Qantas Socceroo to get his first start for sometime was Birmingham City-s Stan Lazaridis, playing 70 minutes in the 2-0 loss to Blackburn Rovers. Lucas Neill again played a full game for Rovers, while Brett Emerton was again on the bench and came on with 15 minutes remaining.
Josip Skoko was again not included in the Wigan Athletic squad that continues to upset the critics after another win away at Aston Villa, while another absentee is Tony Popovic, who is still trying to recover from injury.
Luke Wilkshire also played a full game for Bristol City in a high scoring 4-3 loss to Oldham.
In Italy, Marco Bresciano and Vince Grella both played full games in Parma-s 4-1 loss away at Fiorentina, with Grella scoring Parma-s consolation goal.
In Spain, John Aloisi also played a full game, as Alaves lost 2-0 away at FC Sevilla.
It was cup action in Switzerland and the Australian-s got amongst the goals with fringe Qantas Socceroo Mile Sterjovski doing everything to get the attention of the Australian coaching staff with a four-goal haul in FC Basel-s 6-1 win against Old Boys. Scott Chipperfield was replaced in the 64th minute.
Joel Griffiths played a full game and scored a first half goal, as Neuchatel Xamax lost 2-1 to Lugano.