Soccer-Sterjovski strike gives Australia win over Ghana

BRISBANE Fri May 23, 2008 2:35pm BST

BRISBANE May 23 (Reuters) - Midfielder Mile Sterjovski scored 45 seconds into the second half to give Australia a surprise 1-0 win over Ghana in a friendly in Sydney on Friday.

Sterjovski seized on a mistake by Ghana captain John Mensah, who lost possession just outside the penalty box, to slam the ball home from 20 metres and stun the visitors.

Until that point Ghana had been in control with the impressive Laryea Kingston at the hub of their superior passing game and Junior Agogo always dangerous up front.

Lack of match fitness and tight marking kept Australia captain Harry Kewell quiet, while brilliant goalkeeping from Mark Schwarzer kept the Socceroos in the match.

"I thought it was a bit of a sloppy game," Sterjovski said. "But it was good to win."

Both teams, missing a number of key players, were warming up for World Cup qualifiers on June 1 when Australia host Iraq and Ghana are at home to Libya. (Reporting by Andrew Stevens, editing by Rex Gowar)