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Group A 1차전 FIFA World Youth Championship 
 
Oz keep cool to deny debutant Benin (1:1) 
(FIFA.com) 10 Jun 2005 

Goals Scored: OMOTOYOSSI Razak (BEN) 32' , WARD Nick (AUS) 59' 
  
Impressive striker Razak Omotoyossi gives Benin the lead against Australia. Lee Mills ACTION IMAGES 
  
A tale of two halves, the opening match of the FIFA World Youth Championship Netherlands 2005 saw Australia rally back from a goal down to finish honours even with Benin.  The West African debutants gave a fine account of themselves in their first-ever finals outing, but could not quite hang onto the advantage they deservedly carved out in the first half at the Parkstad Limburg Stadium in the southern Dutch city of Kerkrade.  
  
"Benin came out faster than us, but after 25 minutes we began to play our game and by half-time we were pretty much even," Oz boss Ange Postecolgu said after the match. "In the second half we created a lot of chances and probably should have won." 
  
The contest began with a flurry of attack from the far-from-overawed African first-timers. Charging forward industriously, a clever flicked chest pass from CAF qualifying sensation Abou Maiga freed Razak Omotoyossi at the edge of the box with only five minutes gone. Running at a conspicuously nervous-looking Aussie backline, the muscular striker was left stamping the ground in frustration after firing over Adam Federici's crossbar.  
  
The Aussies were happy enough to concede possession in midfield, looking to hit out on the break with lanky forward Nick Ward of club side Perth Glory doing his best as lone target man.  
  
Benin's Abou Maiga tries an overhead kick past Australia's Jacob Timpano. (ACTION IMAGES) Alex Morton  

The counter-attacking scheme nearly paid dividends when, in the 19th minute, a delicious long ball from Stuart Musialik sent the increasingly threatening Lia clean in.  To the dismay of vocal Oz boss Ange Postecoglu, the precocious flank tormentor could only scuff a tame try into the grateful arms of Yoann Djodonou.  
But just as their big-occasion nerves seemed to stop jangling, the Young Socceroos were caught out. Force-fed a dose of their own medicine, they were punished on a lightning-quick back-to-front break. 
  
Shrewdly allowing Maiga's deft pass to run past him at the edge of the box, the lively Omotoyossi ghosted by his flat-footed marker and slipped the ball by Federici inside the far post. It was Benin's first goal at a FIFA finals, the first of Netherlands 2005 and they celebrated it fancifully at the corner flag to the delight of the Kerkrade crowd (1:0, 32'). 
  
Keeping up their route-one approach in the second half, the Australians seemed to be hurting for ideas.  But, from nothing, a bit of indiscipline cost the talented Africans - who saw three players booked in the first half - to surrender their hard-earned lead. 
  
A rash challenge in the corner led to an Australian free kick in a dangerous position.  Kristian Sarkies whipped the ball in and the hard-working Ward popped up at the near post to poke past Djidonou and level the score (1:1, 59'). 
  
"We should have never conceded a silly goal like that," remarked Benin boss Deveze after the game. "We were protecting high and got beaten low and it was a stupid free-kick to concede." 
  
The goal had a predictably unsettling effect on the Africans as the Aussies began to gather a menacing momentum.  With 12 minutes to go, the Oceania reps saw a golden opportunity go begging as Ward broke down the left and crossed wickedly and low for Spase Dilevski. The substitute and former Spurs man, though, could only make his first touch an agonisingly one as he pushed the ball against the upright from close range.  
  
Despite another golden opportunity for danger-man Dilevski, the scoreline stood, sending the two sides, temporarily at least, to joint-top of Group A. 
  
"We wasted too many chances and lost our shape a bit in the second half," Deveze added. "But it's a positive result overall in our first match."