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View Count: 120 |  Publish Date: July 26, 2013
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Nichols a chance to win start

Mitch Nichols. Photo: Getty Images
SEOUL: To play your first game in months, come off the bench and enjoy a key role in changing the dynamics of an international game is not a bad way to suggest you should start the next match, and Mitch Nichols is hoping that he did enough in Australias dramatic 3-2 loss to Japan to be part of the starting side against China on Sunday.
The recently signed Melbourne Victory midfielder was one of two substitutes - goalscorer Tomi Juric was another - who helped swing the balance of the match as the Socceroos clawed their way back to 2-2 in the last 15 minutes of a topsy-turvy encounter.
His effort, plus coach Holger Osiecks preference to now give players who havent had a game a chance to show what they can do on Sunday should mean he is in from the start.
It was a better than the last game but its been a bit hard, out of season and getting back into it. I think we showed last half an hour, second half, if we played like that we probably could have pushed them a bit further and it was disappointing to get it back to 2-2 and give away such a soft goal, Nichols said as he summed up the match. Advertisement
I was happy to get involved. Just try to do all I can do, I think I did that and can build on that. Hopefully I put my hand up for a start next game and go from there. Its been a good camp and hopefully we can end it on the right note.
Young Central Coast Mariners forward Mitchell Duke came into East Asian Cup as one of the most inexperienced players in the squad. But the youngster, who turned 22 this week, has seized his opportunity. After a quiet game against South Korea, he was far more involved against Japan and marked his second start with his first international goal.
Its the greatest feeling in the world - my first goal at international level.

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Time: 13:29  |  News Code: 316571  |  Site: brisbanetimes
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