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Jun 5, 2011

Holger happy as Socceroos beat NZ 3-0

Socceroos coach Holger Osieck declared the future was bright after a makeshift Australian side got the job done with relative ease in a 3-0 win over New Zealand at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.

Striker Josh Kennedy, back in the national side for the first time in eight months after missing January's Asian Cup due to injury, scored a double in front of 21,281 fans who braved torrential rain at times.

Young gun James Troisi, one of several fringe players handed a chance by Osieck, completed the rout in front of his hometown crowd with a late penalty.

Missing big guns including Lucas Neill, Tim Cahill, Harry Kewell and Mark Schwarzer, Osieck used the match as an opportunity to test out a host of squad players.

He was left satisfied after the Socceroos always looked in control against a New Zealand side injury-ravaged and coming off a brutal turnaround following a 3-0 loss to Mexico on Thursday in Denver.

"I think in some stretches of the game we really entertained and played some good, positive football," Osieck said.

"Along with that some of the new boys that came back after an absence or got their first opportunity since I've been here, I think they grabbed the opportunity.

"I was looking for depth and it was important for me that I had a couple of players here in the group that I didn't know that well.

"Now I'm convinced that we definitely have new additions to the squad."

Goalkeeper Nathan Coe, Troisi, Neil Kilkenny, Michael Zullo, Matthew Spiranovic and Jon McKain were all handed rare starts and performed well, with Troisi particularly impressive in a 90-minute performance.

Kruse, Rhys Williams, Dario Vidosic and Alex Brosque all came off the bench in the second half as first-team regulars Luke Wilkshire, Brett Holman and stand-in captain Brett Emerton were substituted at halftime with an eye to Tuesday's clash with Serbia in Melbourne.

Kennedy had said during the week he felt he had to prove himself to Osieck, having only played one match under the German coach, and gave a good account of himself in a 60-minute performance.

"I'm a striker and obviously my job is scoring goals and having a long break sometimes you get forgotten, so it's good to be back," Kennedy said.

His first goal was gift-wrapped from the Kiwis, pouncing after goalkeeper Glen Moss lost control of a questionable Jeremy Brockie back-pass and steering the ball into an open net.

The second after halftime was a trademark header from a pinpoint Vidosic corner.

Osieck took the chance to inject fresh faces throughout the second half and Australia continued to threaten in attack with Kruse, Brosque, Vidosic and Troisi combining well.

Their reward came when Kruse was cut down by Ben Sigmund deep into injury time and Troisi was allowed the spot kick for a crowd-pleasing finish.

The All Whites were not totally disgraced, particularly considering their troubled build up, but rarely threatened on goal, aside from half chances to Kosta Barbarouses, Shane Smeltz and Chris Wood.

"We probably didn't need the start we had ... off the back of that trip," coach Ricki Herbert said.

"But I thought some of the players stood up and played quite well."

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