Bolting towards Brazil with big win

12 June 2013

FOOTBALL: The Socceroos produced the most commanding performance of their World Cup qualifying campaign to smash Jordan 4-0 in Melbourne last night and take a huge step towards securing a spot at next year's finals in Brazil.

Goals to Mark Bresciano, Tim Cahill, the outstanding Robbie Kruse and skipper Lucas Neill lifted Australia into second place in Asia's Group B. The style of the victory - and the scoreline - were just what coach Holger Osieck was looking for ahead of next Tuesday’s final qualifier against Iraq in Sydney.

‘‘Our team showed great unity and the score was definitely what we needed,’’ said Osieck.

‘‘It was a good margin and a good clean sheet  compared to some of the other results, which were pretty narrow.

‘‘It was good to have a win like that, which will definitely give a lot of confidence for the last game against Iraq.

‘‘We made a big step forward but we haven’t crossed the finish line.

‘‘That’s a fact and I made it perfectly clear in the dressing-room to the players that the preparation for next Tuesday has started already.’’

Victory over Iraq will guarantee Australia a spot at a third straight World Cup finals.

The Socceroos controlled most of the  match with delightful passing –  mainly via the vision of Bresciano.

Kruse, Luke Wilkshire and Brett Holman were particularly dangerous in the first half in a right-sided triangle that unlocked Jordan’s defence time and again.

Tommy Oar teamed with Holman and Kruse in some neat interplay to create the opening goal in the 15th minute.

It was Kruse who slid in a well-timed cross from the right for Bresciano to slam home before striking his trademark statue pose to the delight of more than 43,000 fans.

Australia dominated, but Jordan did have two solid opportunities, including the first of the match on 12 minutes to Saeed Murjan, who forced a good save from Mark Schwarzer.

Ahmad Hayel shot just over the bar on 28 minutes, though they were brief counter-attacks in what was mainly one-way Socceroos traffic.
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Jordan sharpened up their attack early in the second half and briefly menaced before striker Cahill added to his near goal-per-two-games record for his country.

Wonderful lead-up work from Sasa Ognenovski, Bresciano, Holman and a killer cross from Kruse allowed Cahill to head home on 61 minutes to ensure victory.

Then Kruse added a third, nutmegging a defender with a blind turn and slamming home in the  76th minute.

Then party-time descended on Etihad Stadium as Neill headed home in the 84th minute for his first ever goal for his country in his 91st appearance. 

Guy Hand

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