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Farina Leaves out Moore

WELLINGTON, NZ: The Socceroos tonight sprung two surprises for their World Cup clash against New Zealand, selecting Steve Corica while omitting rugged defender Craig Moore. Corica's inclusion indicates the Australians may adopt the cautious approach of fielding a five-man midfield, as they did in their recent upset victory over world champion France. If Corica does venture up front with the towering Clayton Zane, the pair will showcase the long and the short of the Australian team, Corica standing at 173cms to Zane's 188cms. The Japanese-based Corica played almost exclusively in midfield during Australia's recent Confederations Cup campaign. He helped stifle France as a fifth man in midfield, a tactic Australia may well employ again. German-based David Zdrilic, who played as an out-and-out striker in four of the five matches in Korea and Japan, was praised by coach Frank Farina for his "phenomenal" work rate and for doing "everything asked of him". But that wasn't enough to earn him a spot in tomorrow's World Cup qualifier, and he can consider himself unlucky to be out of the starting 11. So can Craig Moore, the uncompromising Glasgow Rangers defender who gave such sterling service until he was red-carded minutes from the end of Australia's semifinal defeat to Japan in Yokohama. But Farina was spoiled for choice at the back, and someone was always going to be unlucky. In the end the Socceroo coach opted for the pairing of Shaun Murphy and Tony Popovic in the centre of defence. Neither put a foot wrong at the Confederations Cup, and Murphy capped a superb tournament by distinguishing himself in attack as well. His two headed goals, against Mexico and Brazil, made the 30-year-old Sheffield United player Australia's top scorer at the event. Farina had plenty of options on the left of midfield, too, deciding eventually on Stan Lazaridis in preference to Manchester City dynamo Danny Tiatto and Scott Chipperfield. Lazaridis joins captain Paul Okon, Josip Skoko and Brett Emerton in the middle four. Australia: goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer; defenders Kevin Muscat, Shaun Murphy, Tony Popovic, Tony Vidmar; midfield Brett Emerton, Paul Okon (capt), Josip Skoko, Stan Lazaridis; forwards Clayton Zane, Steve Corica.


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