Who Is Walter Pless?


A teacher by profession, but is now in his 38th year as a football writer. Has written for "Soccer Action" (Melbourne), "Australian Soccer Weekly" (Sydney) and "World Soccer" (London), as well as for several Tasmanian newspapers. Currently contributing to "Goal!Weekly" in Melbourne and the Australian magazine "Soccer International". Played for Croatia-Glenorchy, Caledonians, Metro, Rapid and University in Tasmania, as well as in the United States of America. Coached University, Metro and Croatia-Glenorchy.

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Second-placed Sydney FC moved to within three points of leaders Melbourne Victory on the “Beer and Betting” League ladder after a comfortable 4-1 win over North Queensland Fury at the Sydney Football Stadium this evening.

The left-footed John Aloisi smashed home the first with his right foot from close range in the 14th minute.

Five minutes later, Alex Brosque, also a left-footer, scooped home the second with his right foot while lying on the ground just inside the box.

But, the goal should have been disallowed because Aloisi clearly committed a foul in the build-up when he pushed an opponent in the back and won the ball.

Brosque made it 3-0 in the 57th minute, but the Fury pulled a goal back through Terry Cooke’s free-kick in the 61st minute.

Veteran Steve Corica headed Sydney’s fourth in the 64th minute as the Fury again showed their defensive frailties.

North Queensland Fury remain second-last.

The attendance was 11,871.

Australia have drawn a tough group for next year’s World Cup finals in South Africa.

The Socceroos are in Group D, together with Germany, Serbia and Ghana.

If we qualify for the second round, we will have done extremely well.

New Zealand probably have an easier group as they face Italy, Paraguay and Slovakia in Group F.

The Brazilians may be tested in Group G, where they have to negotiate North Korea, Ivory Coast and Portugal.

The host nation, South Africa, may well exit after the first round as they face Mexico, Uruguay and France.

The groups are:

Group A: South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay, France

Group B: Argentina, Nigeria, Greece, South Korea

Group C: England, USA, Algeria, Slovenia

Group D: Germany, Australia, Serbia, Ghana

Group E: Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, Cameroon

Group F: Italy Paraguay, New Zealand, Slovakia

Group G: Brazil, North Korea, Ivory Coast, Portugal

Group H: Spain, Switzerland, Honduras, Chile

Newcastle Jets scored their second away win in a row when they downed bottom-side Adelaide United 2-0 at Hindmarsh Stadium tonight before Adelaide’s lowest attendance of the season - 8,502.

The win lifted the Jets into sixth place, where they displaced Wellington Phoenix, who had moved into sixth spot earlier in the day.

The win ended a run of 15 consecutive away defeats by the Jets, a run that began after they won the title two seasons ago.

Adelaide missed some glorious chances and seem incapable of scoring.

Cristiano missed an open goal in the first half and then shot straight at the goalkeeper near the end.

Matthew Leckie was unlucky late in the game when his fine curling shot from the left was tipped wide for a corner by Newcastle keeper Neil Young.

And, Travis Dodd misdirected an easy header, placing the ball straight at the keeper.

Newcastle suffered an early blow when Michael Bridges went off after just a quarter of an hour with a strained hamstring.

Striker Sean Rooney was in outstanding form for the Jets and was touted as a potential future Socceroo after tonight’s performance.

Newcastle might have hit the front after just three minutes when Rooney’s pass put Song Jin-Hyung in the clear on the right, but the Korean blazed wide.

A minute into stoppage time at the end of the first half, Matt Thompson put the visitors in front from Tarek Elrich’s cut-back from the right.

Eleven minutes from the end, Song made it 2-0 from the penalty spot after Scott Jamieson had handled Jobe Wheelhouse’s shot.

“I think we probably started the game in positive fashion and had a couple of good chances in the first half,” said Adelaide United’s assistant manager, Phil Stubbins.

“Certainly one that I recall fell to Cristiano.

“Obviously, it’s just not going in. What do you do to rectify that?

“I’m not really sure.

“As a consequence of not scoring, we then found ourselves on the back foot again and conceded a sloppy goal on the stroke of half-time.

“We just can’t turn a trick at the moment, so it’s disappointing to say the least.”

Sixth-placed Wellington Phoenix were unable to improve their A-League position when they drew 1-1 with leaders Melbourne Victory at WestPac Stadium in Wellington this afternoon.

The Phoenix did set a new A-League record, though, becoming the first team to be undefeated at home in 14 consecutive matches.

Melbourne played for 50 minutes with ten men after Nick Ward was sent off for a second yellow card five minutes before the break.

There were six yellow cards (three for each side) and one red in the game.

Phoenix’s Vince Lia, Paul Ifill and captain Andrew Durante were booked, as were Victory’s Matthew Kemp and Ward.

Both sides missed gilt-edged chances, with both goalkeepers blocking one-on-one situations.

The visitors finished strongly and dominated play in the final 20 minutes, managing an equaliser four minutes from the end.

After a goalless opening half, Wellington took the lead in the 57th minute.

Kemp was unable to prevent Leo Bertos from crossing from the right and Tim Brown outjumped Kevin Muscat to head past Mitch Langerak.

With four minutes remaining, a corner by Leigh Broxham was headed home by Melbourne defender Rodrigo Vargas.

A crowd of 8,200 braved the cool conditions, with the hard-core Wellington supporters taking off their shirts and supporting their side in ‘skins’, something which is becoming something of a tradition in the South Island.

Melbourne are now 6 points ahead of second-placed Sydney FC but they have played a game more.