Bite-sized news for you to chew over - All Whites held, Cahill talks up Oman clash and Malik wins Reds deal
Socceroos attacker Tim Cahill believes getting a result in Friday's clash with Oman in Muscat is crucial to Australia's bid to qualify for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. Australia will go into their opening match of the final AFC qualifying stage on the back of a 2-0 friendly defeat to Denmark on Saturday. And, according to Cahill, getting at least a point from the match in Muscat is critical ahead of their clash with rivals Japan in Brisbane on Tuesday. "The mood's all good [and] for us it's about trying to get the right momentum going into this game because they're a very good team," Cahill said of Oman, who began their campaign with a 3-0 loss to Japan on Sunday. "I think it's always crucial to get off to a flying start. You see Japan with a 3-0 win for them, they're sitting pretty. For confidence and momentum it's key for everyone, especially for us the main thing is trying to get this three points and not losing the game."
The Solomon Islands came from behind to clinch a hard-fought 1-1 draw against New Zealand in the Oceania Nations Cup on Wednesday. West Bromwich Albion striker Chris Wood opened the scoring for New Zealand in stifling Honiara heat before Benjamin Totori drew level for the hosts in the 57th minute. The match served as a dead rubber in Group B, after Papua New Guinea and Fiji played out a 1-1 draw earlier in the day. That result guaranteed both New Zealand and the Solomon Islands a berth in the final four of the tournament, which doubles as OFC World Cup qualifying. With that in mind, New Zealand head coach Ricki Herbert rested a number of regular starters, including Ivan Vicelich, Chris Killen, Shane Smeltz and Michael McGlinchey.
Adelaide United midfielder Osama Malik has put pen to paper on a two-year contract extension with the Reds. The new deal ensures Malik, 21, remains with his home-town club until the end of the 2014-15 A-League season. Malik missed the last two games of Adelaide's AFC Champions League campaign with a knee injury, but is expected back for the club's quarter-final fixture in September. "It's obviously an exciting time for us at the moment and hopefully we can take that beyond now and achieve something in the future," Malik said. "Since Kossie [Adelaide coach John Kosmina] has come in it has been great for me, he has let me play a lot and hopefully I can keep progressing and improving to become the player that I want to be." Malik, who joined Adelaide following a stint with the now-defunct North Queensland Fury, has made 47 A-League appearances to date.