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International Match

Cardiff City Stadium 10th August 2011 - Kick off 19:45

Wales Wales vs Australia Australia

Wales 1

D Blake (82)

ft

Australia 2

T Cahill (44)
R Kruse (60)

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Cahill crushes sloppy Wales

Spurs winger Bale has penalty shout denied

By Hayley Paterson.   Last Updated: 10/08/11 10:52pm

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Challenge: Tricky Spurs winger Bale holds off the ball from Valeri at the Cardiff City Stadium

Challenge: Tricky Spurs winger Bale holds off the ball from Valeri at the Cardiff City Stadium

Tim Cahill was the driving force behind Australia's comfortable 2-1 win over a below-par Wales side.

Man of the match: Lucas Neill. The ex-West Ham and Blackburn leader has done his search for a new club no harm at all with a fine display. Moment of the match: Gareth Bale had a penalty appeal turned down after falling under a Brett Emerton nudge. Would have been a soft decision if given. Attempt of the match: At a time when the match needed a thunderbolt to get going, Luke Wilkshire delivered one of his own as he saw his strike cannon off Wayne Hennessey's near-post. Goal of the game: Tim Cahill's finish was one to be marvelled. The Australian checked his run to volley Wilkshire's cross on the turn past Hennessey for a well-deserved opener. Talking point: Wales have racked up a couple of losses recently, can Gary Speed turn their fortunes around and lead his nation towards a Euro qualification?

The Everton midfielder expertly volleyed home Luke Wilkshire's cross on the stroke of half-time and then played a part in substitute Robbie Kruse's toe-poke to leave Wales with a mountain to climb in their international friendly.

Craig Bellamy and Gareth Bale came into life in the final minutes of the game and it was the Spurs winger's corner which Darcy Blake headed past Mark Schwarzer but it was merely a consolation.

Former Middlesbrough man Wilkshire had rattled Wayne Hennessey's near-post in the first-half with a thunderbolt as Australia looked the more sharper of the two.

Bale felt he should have had a penalty at the Cardiff City Stadium when he went down under a Brett Emerton challenge, however nothing was given as Wales struggled to create clinical chances.

Dragons boss Gary Speed had the luxury of picking an almost full-strength side with Bale back in action after a lengthy spell on the sidelines and captain Aaron Ramsey also started.

The hosts struggled from the off to break-down a well-oiled machine in the Socceroos and despite enjoying spells of possession, they failed to create any clear-cut chances.

Hitman

The visitors, 89 places below Wales in the rankings, took the lead through Cahill minutes after Bale was brought down by Emerton in the box.

Sunderland's new signing David Vaughan got straight into the action, albeit for the wrong reasons, as the midfielder was lucky to escape a booking after 15 minutes following his mis-timed challenge on Scott McDonald.

Wilkshire was proving to be the dangerman for Australia in the first-half, making a collection of surging runs down the right and enjoying a few set-pieces.

Carl Valeri should have done better when he found himself on the edge of the box with team-mates either side him, however opted to shoot and scuffed his effort well wide of the goal.

Wales eventually had an effort on goal as an ever-energetic Bellamy cut inside from the right flank and went for the strike, but the impressive Matthew Spiranovic bravely got in the way and blocked the Manchester City forward's effort.

Wilkshire then tried his luck from outside the box with a powerful drive which left Hennessey scrambling as it hit his near-post.

As Bale appealed for a penalty, the Socceroos countered and Wilkshire's pinpoint cross found Cahill in the 44th minute who volleyed past Wolves' number one for the opener.

After a quiet half, Speed brought off Ramsey for West Ham's Jack Collison and Australia introduced Middlesbrough's Rhys Williams.

Cynical foul

The visitors could have and should have doubled their lead two minutes after the interval but Hennessey did well to deny Kruse and the post kept out Valeri.

Michael Zullo found himself in the book when he broke a typical Bale stride towards goal with a cynical foul in Australia's half as the away side doubled up on the Welsh winger everytime he had the ball.

Holger Osieck's men were still the better of the two sides and eventually made it 2-0 when Cahill helped Australia's flowing attacking move and Scott McDonald drilled a dangerous ball across the face of the goal. Hennessey managed to get a hand to the ball but parried it into the path of substitute Kruse who poked the ball past him in the 60th minute.

Bellamy was becoming increasingly frustrated in a game which saw very few chances created by the home side until Blake's finish in the final minutes which was also his first international goal.

The Cardiff City man headed in Bale's corner and that seemed to breathe a bit of life into a lack-lustre Welsh outfit.

Spiranovic nervously headed over a Bale curling cross which could have gone into his own net and Morison had an appeal for a handball against the defender turned down in the box as Australia held on for the win.

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