Socceroos celebrate a goal against Chinese Taipei. Via Socceroos official Twitter account

The Socceroos defeated Chinese Taipei 5-1 in their World Cup Qualifying match this morning. Mitch Duke scored a second half brace in the win.

The Socceroos defeated Chinese Taipei 5-1 in their latest World Cup Qualifying match. Goals from Harry Souttar, Jamie Maclaren, Trent Sainsbury, and a second-half double from Mitch Duke secured another three points.

Danny Vukovic started between the posts with Riley McGree and Kenny Dougall both handed their first Socceroos starts. Trent Sainsbury was handed the captain’s armband while young midfielder Denis Genreau was given his international debut. Melbourne City attacker Jamie Maclaren led the line for Graham Arnold’s men.

Socceroos took control early on

The Socceroos got into their groove early, controlling possession and dictating play. Young Genreau did not look out of place as he and Kenny Dougall formed the anchor in the Australian midfield. It took just over 10 minutes before the Socceroos had the lead. Riley McGree whipped in a great corner which found Stoke City defender Harry Souttar. The towering defender powered home his header to give Australia a deserved lead.

Again Kenny Dougall and Dennis Genreau pulled the strings in midfield, spraying the ball around while McGree looked incredibly lively in the No.10 position for Graham Arnold’s side.

Chinese Taipei did make life a little uncomfortable for the Socceroos defence with Emilio Estevez forcing a good save from Danny Vukovic. Taipei then followed up with back-to-back corners however the defence held strong to repel the attack.

Getting through the Taipei defence proved a challenge early on as the Socceroos had to work through two deep blocks of defenders as Taipei sat deep in their own half. Jamie Maclaren hassled and harried the defence into a mistake and took the ball away before he was crudely taken down inside the box by Chen Wei-Chuan.

Australia now had the chance to double their lead. The Melbourne City ace stepped up and emphatically converted his penalty.

The first half an hour was relevantly comfortable for Graham Arnold’s men with McGree’s presence proving to be a problem for Taipei.

Five minutes before halftime, the Socceroos had their third.

Skipper Trent Sainsbury drifted to the back post as yet another McGree corner found a teammate and Sainsbury headed home to give the Australians a 3-0 lead heading into halftime.

Socceroos off to a flyer in the second half

It took the Socceroos just 20 seconds into the second half to add another goal. Straight from the kick-off, Genreau produced a great pass to find Borrello who dinked the ball in for Mitch Duke to meet at the near post and headed home.

Australia was in total control of the match however Taipei got a deserved goal just 15 minutes later. After some great build-up play, Tu Shao-Chieh produced a superb cutback to find Gao Wei Jie. He was unmarked in the box and hit his shot as it flew past Vukovic and into the net.

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The majority of the second half was rather uneventful.

The Socceroos dominated possession without producing much in the ways of a final product. Chris Oikonomidis and Connor Metcalfe were brought on for Dougall and Borrello as Graham Arnold opted for fresh legs in the sweltering heat. Nikita Rukavytsya and Ajdin Hrustic were also brought on to rotate the squad.

With just over ten minutes remaining, the Socceroos had their fifth goal. A clever ball from playmaker Hrustic found Rukavytsya who dragged the keeper out of position. Only to produce a neat layoff for Duke who fired home into an empty net.

Overall it was a decent outing for the Socceroos as they maintain their 100% record in qualifying with the win. Up next for Australia is a match-up against Nepal on Saturday.

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