Socceroos make the perfect start to Final Round of the Asian Qualifiers

The Socceroos before taking China in the Asian Qualifiers (Image: Socceroos/Twitter)

The Socceroos have made the perfect start to the final round of the Asian Qualifiers after a dominant 3-0 win over China on Friday morning.

The Aussies went into the first game of the international break with only two days to prepare in comparison to China, who had more than a week.

The opening minutes of the match belonged to China. An early attack resulted in a shot into the side netting, however, that would prove to be their best goal scoring opportunity for the match.

The Socceroos were able to grow into the game and begin dominating possession. The likes of Ajdin Hrustic and Tom Rogic began to assert their authority on the game in the midfield.

In the 24th minute, it was Awer Mabil who opened the scoring for Australia. A delightful long pass from Trent Sainsbury found Mabil splitting China’s defence. China goalkeeper, Yan Jungling, made an impressive save before Adam Taggart collected and lobbed the ball back for Mabil who was clinical.

Martin Boyle continued his incredible goal scoring form and sent the Aussies two goals up only a couple of minutes later. Tom Rogic found Boyle in a dangerous position who after some delightful dribbling, shoots from the top of the box and produces an elite finish.

Australia dominated for the remainder of the first half, finishing with 68 per cent possession as they continued to threaten the Chinese defence.

The objective for the Socceroos in the second half was to close out the game and finish with a clean sheet, and that was exactly what happened.

Mabil and Boyle seemed to be growing in confidence by the minute for Australia, trying to take advantage of the poor Chinese defence.

The Socceroos were ready to finish off the game after half-time (Image: Socceroos/Twitter)

Australia and Hibernian will be hoping that what appeared to be a hamstring injury, isn’t too serious for Boyle who was substituted alongside Taggart. Their replacements were Mitch Duke and Aaron Mooy.

It only took Duke a matter of seconds to get onto the scoresheet. Some lovely buildup play from the Socceroos allowed Mabil to trouble the Chinese keeper before the ball spilled to Duke who was clinical.

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The remainder of the match looked like a training drill for Australia. The dominant performance allowed Graham Arnold to hand an international debut to Hull City fullback, Callum Elder.

“It was an unbelievable moment when the manager called me over to come on,” Elder told 10 Sport post-game.

“It’s unreal, there’s a lot of emotions going through your head, you’re thinking what you’re gonna do when you come on, you’ve also gotta be wary of the state of the game, we’re three-nil up, we want to keep controlling it, but in the same respect you want to try and show what you can do.”

“It’s been a long journey, my family have had to watch me move to England at 16 so I know they’ll be really proud back home.”

Graham Arnold outlined his tactical approach after just the two days of preparation in a post-match interview with 10 Sport.

“I’ve looked closely at the roles the boys have been playing at their clubs, as individuals, and pretty much just replicating that and asking them to do the same, rather than confusing them and making them do something completely different,” Arnold said.

Arnold was pleased with knowing that the Socceroos had won nine consecutive matches for the second time in history.

“It’s fantastic, the most important thing now is that the boys recover well and get ready for Vietnam,” he said.

Australia sits at the top of the Group B table and will look to capitalise on Japan’s 1-0 loss to Oman.

The Socceroos face Vietnam at Mỹ Đình National Stadium on Tuesday at 10pm AEST.

Final Result:

Australia: 3
China: 0

Australia goals: Mabil 24′, Boyle 26′, Duke 70′
China goals: –

Australia assists: Taggart, Rogic
China assists: –

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