Bite-sized news for you to chew over - Agostino casts his mind back, Levein defends decision to call up Ian Black and much more
Ahead of Australia's friendly with Scotland on Wednesday, former Socceroos striker Paul Agostino has remembered fondly the last time to the two nations met. Now retired but with then-Bundesliga outfit 1860 Munich at the time, Agostino partnered David Zdrilic up front as Australia defeated Scotland 2-0 in 2000 at Hampden Park. Zdrilic and Brett Emerton got the goals, with Agostino telling The Adelaide Advertiser it was a "deserved" victory. "It was a mixed bag of supporters but we were awesome that night, we beat them 2-0," he said. "We had a really strong team. I played up front with David Zdrilic. They had a decent side but the Socceroos on the pitch had really good match form. I came out of the Bundesliga and I was scoring a lot of goals and our players were all in good form. It was a deserved solid win."
Scotland manager Craig Levein has rounded on reporters who have questioned his call-up of Rangers midfielder Ian Black for Wednesday's friendly with Australia. Black had been left out of Levein's initial squad after the coach stated he believed the Scottish Third Division - in which Rangers are competing in 2012-13 - was not adequate preparation for international football. But injuries and absences meant Black was later added to the squad, making headlines in Scotland. "He [Black] is next on the list for that position," Levein told reporters. "So I brought him into the squad. I don't understand why people are even concentrating on it. He's not first choice. He's a back-up for people who have gone out of the squad. The statement was made that the door's not closed on anybody. Then I find that this is something that we're concentrating on."
The match might have been marred by trouble in the crowd, but Sydney FC were left far happier with events on the pitch in their 3-1 pre-season friendly with New South Wales Super League club Macarthur Rams. With eight first-team players starting for the Sky Blues and more joining the fray among 11 changes at half-time, goals from Ali Abbas, Nick Taneski and Fabio ensured the A-League club ran out winners. But late consolation goal for Emmanuel Elali ensured the Rams were to walk away with a consolation.
Captain Jobe Wheelhouse scored the sole goal in the Newcastle Jets' 1-0 pre-season win over Rockdale City Suns on Tuesday. The Jets midfielder continued his return back from foot surgery with the solitary strike, with coach Gary van Egmond electing to rest fellow first-team members Ben Kennedy, Tiago, Ruben Zadkovich and Ben Kantarovski for his side's fifth pre-season win against outside opposition. New Brazilian signing Bruno Ribeiro got his match time for the club, playing 20 minutes up front for the Jets.