MLS Int'l Roundup: Tim Cahill nets record-tying goal for Australia in friendly win over Costa Rica
They may have a new coach, but the game is still the same one.
New York Red Bulls star Tim Cahill scored the winner as Australia defeated Costa Rica 1-0 at Allianz Stadium in Sydney early Tuesday, delivering new Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou a victory in his first match.
RBNY's Designated Player rose to meet a corner kick with one of his classic thumping headers in the 69th minute, though this one was aided in its path past Ticos goalkeeper Patrick Pemberton by a deflection off defender Junior Díaz.
The goal runs Cahill's career total for Australia to 29, drawing him level with the nation's all-time record, held by Damien Mori.
Meanwhile, Iran, with San Jose Earthquakes defender Steven Beitashour making his second start, qualified for the 2015 Asian Cup after thumping Lebanon in Beirut 4-1 in their Group B qualifying match on Tuesday. The game was played hours after the Iranian embassy in Beirut was bombed, killing 23. Spectators were not allowed into the stadium.
Earning his third cap for Iran, Beitashour went the full 90 minutes. The win sealed not only their spot in the 2015 tournament, but also first place in its qualifying group, four points ahead of second-place Kuwait. Iran (4-1-0, 13 points) finishes up group play of Asian Cup qualifying March 3 against second-place Kuwait (2-3-0, 9 points).
Beitashour also did nothing to hurt his cause for making the roster when Iran head for Brazil next summer. Lebanon's lone strike came off a turnover that Beitashour made an effort to track to prevent the goal, but couldn't get to the spot in time. The goal came after Iran was firmly in front, 4-0.
A handful of MLSers were in action in Tuesday night friendlies, with Honduras battling to a thrilling 2-2 draw with Ecuador in a match that saw both teams end with 10 men on the field. Wilson Palacios found former Houston Dynamo striker Carlo Costly on two occasions after Ecuador had taken a first-half lead, but the South American side equalized late on.
San Jose's Marvin Chavez was the only MLS player to start for Honduras, but two more of the league's Catracho contingent entered as substitutes: Earthquakes defender Victor Bernardez at the start of the second half and Houston midfield Boniek Garcia, who took the field in front of his hometown fans in the 81st minute. New England striker Jerry Bengtson dressed, but did not see the field in the game.
In the Caribbean, two MLS-heavy squads met again as Trinidad & Tobago completed a clean sweep of their two-game series against Jamaica, winning 2-0 at home. Portland Timbers full back Alvas Powell picked up another start for the Reggae Boyz, but was responsible for conceding the penalty that led to the Soca Warriors' second goal. Former LA Galaxy and Columbus Crew midfielder Chris Birchall was honored for his service to T&T prior to the game, having announced his retirement from international soccer in August.
Elsewhere in Tuesday international action, New England Revolution midfielder Ryan Guy scored his first goal for Guam as the Matao defeated Cambodia 2-0 in a friendly in Phnom Penh. LA Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza also featured for Guam.
— Guam Football Assoc (@GuamFootball) November 19, 2013
Here's the full rundown of MLSers in international action on Tuesday:
Australia – beat Costa Rica 1-0, friendly
Tim Cahill (NY) - Subbed in the 52nd minute, scored in 69th
Guam – beat Cambodia 2-0, friendly
Ryan Guy (NE) - Scored
A.J. DeLaGarza (LA) - Appeared
Iran 4, Lebanon 1 – Asian Cup qualifying
Steven Beitashour (SJ) - Started, played 90
Soony Saad (SKC) - Dressed, did not appear
Estonia – beat Lichtenstein 3-0, friendly
Joel Lindpere (CHI) - Entered in the 64th minute
Ireland – drew at Poland 0-0, friendly
Robbie Keane (LA) - Did not dress
Canada – lost at Slovenia 1-0, friendly (Full coverage here)
Nana Attakora (SJ) - Entered in the 45th minute
Kyle Bekker (TOR) - Entered in the 69th minute
Dwayne De Rosario (unattached) - Started, played 90
Doniel Henry (TOR) - Started, played 90
Ashtone Morgan (TOR) - Entered in the 45th minute
Jonathan Osorio (TOR) - Entered in the 69th minute
Karl Ouimette (MTL) - Entered in the 86th minute
Kyle Porter (DC) - Started, played 45
Russell Teibert (VAN) - Dressed, did not appear
United States – lost at Austria 1-0, friendly (Full coverage here)
Brad Evans (SEA) - Dressed, did not appear
Omar Gonzalez (LA) - Started, played 90
Bill Hamid (DC) - Dressed, did not appear
Eddie Johnson (SEA) - Entered in the 56th minute
Sean Johnson (CHI) - Dressed did not appear
Chris Wondolowski (SJ) - Entered in the 90th minute
Trinidad and Tobago – beat Jamaica 2-0, friendly Jamaica, friendly
Keon Daniel (PHI)
Kevan George (CLB)
Carlyle Mitchell (VAN)
Jamaica – lost 2-0 to Trinidad and Tobago, friendly
Deshorn Brown (COL)
Jason Johnson (HOU)
Darren Mattocks (VAN)
Alvas Powell (POR) - Started
Michael Seaton (DC) - Played
Je-Vaughn Watson (DAL)
Honduras – tied Ecuador 2-2, friendly
Jerry Bengtson (NE) - Dressed, did not play
Víctor Bernárdez (SJ) - Entered in the 46th minute
Marvin Chávez (SJ) - Started, played 71 minutes
Boniek García (HOU) - Entered in the 81st minute