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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Melbourne Victory went to the top of the A-League standings this evening with a 1-0 away win over eighth-placed Brisbane Roar before a crowd of 9,904 at Suncorp Stadium.

The goal came in the 8th minute after a foul by Andrew Packer on former team-mate Robbie Kruse.

Kevin Muscat aimed the free kick towards the near post from wide on the right and Packer was slow to track Archie Thompson, who dived low to head home.

Brisbane had Brazilian substitute Henrique sent off a few minutes from the end after he deliberately caught the ball to cut out a pass.

Where do Australian clubs get some of these Brazilians? Possibly in table soccer parlours, given their on-field performances. Just because they are Brazilians doesn’t mean they can play football.

Third-ranked Gold Coast United drew 1-1 away with eighth-placed Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium tonight.

Adelaide United dominated the match in terms of possession (60 per cent to 40 per cent) but did not score the equaliser until the third minute of stoppage time at the end of the match.

The home side had gone three games and 297 minutes without scoring and coach Aurelio Vidmar may well have saved his job when his side notched that late equaliser.

Adelaide, the only A-League side to have qualified for three Asian Champions League tournaments, have scored a mere 12 goals this season, the lowest tally in the competition.

The attendance was 9,578. This is the first time this season that the attendance has been below 10,000 in Adelaide.

The match had two controversial incidents.

In the 33rd minute, Gold Coast had Kristian Rees, the last defender, sent off after he was adjudged to have fouled Matthew Leckie just outside the box.

Television replays showed Rees had a hand slightly over Leckie’s shoulder before the attacker went down, but Rees seemed to win the ball fairly and the contact appeared minimal.

In the 46th minute, Gold Coast’s Zac Anderson should have been sent off when he was the last defender and blatantly brought down Leckie, but referee Chris Beath only brandished the yellow card.

Gold Coast took the lead against the odds in the 64th minute when Zenon Caravella’s left-wing cross found Steve Fitzsimmons, who headed home.

Three minutes into stoppage time at the end of the match, Leckie was finally rewarded for his fine game when he equalised with a low drive from 20 metres.

Adelaide moved up a place to seventh on goal-difference as a result of the draw.

Uruguay today became the 32nd and last nation to qualify for next year's World Cup finals in South Africa despite being held to a 1-1 draw at home in Montevideo by Costa Rica.

Uruguay had won the first leg 1-0 away in Costa Rica and today's draw saw them through on a 2-1 aggregate win.

Sebastian Abreu headed Uruguay in front in the 69th minute at the rain-drenched Monumental Stadium.

Walter Centeno equalised in the 73rd minute, but Uruguay finished the stronger and qualified for their first World Cup finals since 2002.

Thirty-one of the thirty-two places at the World Cup in South Africa next year have been decided.

The remaining place will go to either Uruguay or Costa Rica, who are about to play the second-leg of their qualifying tie.

Uruguay won the first leg 1-0 away and must be favoured to become the fifth South American nation at the finals.

Earlier today, Portugal, France, Greece and Slovenia confirmed their places at South Africa with wins in their qualifying play-offs in Europe, while Algeria beat Egypt 1-0 in Sudan to become the sixth African qualifier.

Portugal won 1-0 against Bosnia-Hercogovina to make it 2-0m on aggregate, while Greece stunned the Ukraine with a 1-0 away win after the first leg in Athens had finished in a goalless draw.

Greece, the 2004 European champions, last played in the World Cup in the USA in 1994.

Slovenia beat Russia 1-0 at home in Maribor, making it 2-2 on aggregate, but Slovenia scraped through courtesy of their away-goal in the 2-1 loss in Moscow.

France earned a place in South Africa with a controversial 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland in Paris, which gave them a 2-1 win on aggregate.

Thierry Henry clearly handled the ball in setting up the equaliser for William Gallas.

The Swedish referee ignored the heated protests by the Irish and allowed the goal to stand.

Ireland may have been fortunate a little earlier in the first period of extra-time when France had a good claim for a penalty turned down after a challenge by goalkeeper Shay Given.

The thirty-one teams that have qualified are:

HOSTS: South Africa

AFRICA: Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria

ASIA: Australia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea

EUROPE: Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland

SOUTH AMERICA: Argentina, Brazil, Chile Paraguay

NORTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA: Honduras, Mexico, United States of America

OCEANIA: New Zealand