Overseas Football: Schwarzer a World Cup hero for Australia

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The Independent Online
MARK BOSNICH, after all the fuss, was not missed. The Aston Villa goalkeeper, who was obliged to sit out Saturday's Premiership opener after being suspended because of his late withdrawal from Australia's World Cup squad for the two-leg qualifying tie against Canada, may have to wait to regain his place. His deputy, Mark Schwarzer, was the hero for the Aussies, who won a penalty shoot-out by a 4-1 margin, writes Rupert Metcalf.

To reach the World Cup finals in the United States next year, Australia must now overcome the second-placed team in South America's Group A - likely to be Colombia. The 20-year-old Schwarzer, making his full international debut, is his country's third-choice custodian; he was called up to replace Robert Zabica, sent off when Canada won the first leg 2-1 last month. That scoreline was reversed in Sydney yesterday. Frank Farina, once of Notts County, put the Aussies, Lyndon Hooper soon equalised but a late header from Mehmet Durakovic ensured extra time and then the shoot-out in which Schwarzer saved twice.

Brazil failed to capitalise on their superiority in a World Cup qualifier against Uruguay. They scored one and missed three before Ricardo Rocha was sent off and Daniel Fonseca equalised.

It took Frank Rijkaard just three minutes to make his mark on his return to Ajax, who beat RKC Waalwijk 3-0 on the opening weekend of the Dutch season. Back with his old club after five seasons with Milan, Rijkaard scored in the third minute and set up his side's second goal, for the Dane, Dan Petersen, just after the break; Marc Overmars added the third.

The champions, Feyenoord, struggled to beat Cambuur, Rob Witschge netting the winner. Vitesse Arnhem, Norwich City's opponents in the Uefa Cup, won 4-1 at Go Ahead Eagles with a hat-trick from Hans Gillhaus, the former Aberdeen striker.

After five games, newly promoted Cannes lead the French league by one point, after they recovered from a two-goal half-time deficit to draw 2-2 at Strasbourg; Marseille beat Paris St Germain by a single goal by Alen Boksic. The second round of matches in the German Bundesliga saw Bayer Leverkusen achieve an impressive 2-2 home win over Bayern Munich, with Paulo Sergio, a Brazilian international recruited from Sao Paulo, hitting the winner. The champions, Werder Bremen, drew 2-2 at Eintracht Frankfurt.

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