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Soccer News of Tuesday, 14 November 2006

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Black Stars Draw with Australia

Junior Agogo scored his first international goal, late in the second half, to grab a well deserved draw for the Black Stars in an international friendly against Australia at Loftus Road, London.

John Aloisi put the Socceroos ahead in the 27th minute after winning a spot kick when he was brought down by Francis Dikoh in the box.

He made no mistake from 12-yards, firing the ball straight down the centre of the goal as goalkeeper Richard Kingston flung himself to the left.

Ghana, who like Australia reached the second round at the World Cup in Germany, were wasteful with their final ball in the first half and were mostly reduced to long range efforts

Michael Essien forced Schwarzer into his most meaningful action of the first half, the Boro veteran diving low to his left to hold a curling drive from the edge of the area. Schwarzer also saved a shot by Ghana midfielder Sulley Ali Muntari late.

The Sooceroos dominated the first, and could have scored more goals, but for keeper Kingston, who made at least four telling saves. Australian chances fell to Craig Moore, Brett Emerton and Luke Wilkshire, but all were saved by Kingston. Nothing he could do about Aloisi's well struck penalty though and Australia deservedly lead in what was a thoroughly entertaining match.

The Black Stars increased the tempo and had the better of the second half.

Goalkeeper Kingson was substituted just after the interval following an injury suffered in the first minute.

Asamoah Gyan, who came in for Ofori Quaye, created the equalizer in the 75 minute.

Schwarzer dropped a low cross from Gyan right at the feet of Nottingham Forest striker Junior Agogo, who gleefully tapped the ball into an empty net in the 74th minute.

Middlesbrough keeper Schwarzer then kept his side in the game when he blocked Muntari's scissor kick

Australia was without injured midfielders Tim Cahill and Harry Kewell, defender Lucas Neill and striker Mark Viduka. Ghana was also without injured central defence pair John Mensah and Shilla Illisu.

Ghana Line Up: Richard Kingston/Sammy Adjei; Hans Adu Sarpie, Habib Mohammed, Francis Dickoh, Eric Addo; Michael Essien, Laryea Kingston/Hamini Dramani, Stephen Appiah, Sulley Ali Muntari; Peter Ofori Quaye/Asamoah Gyan, Jnr Agogo

Australian line-up: Mark Schwarzer (gk), Brett Emerton, Patrick Kisnorbo, Craig Moore, Scott Chipperfield, Vince Grella, Jason Culina, Luke Wilkshire. Mile Sterjovski, Mark Bresciano, John Aloisi.