Australia got their World Cup qualification campaign back on track in Canberra on Thursday night. The Socceroos managed a 3-0 win over a weakened Kyrgyzstan side to really move in to a commanding position in the group, despite still trailing Jordan by one point.
With the win Australia have sealed their passage to the Asian Cup third round of qualifying and are on the verge of sealing passage to the tournament. Australia were looking shaky after losing to Jordan but Australia have got back on track here with a needed victory.
From the very opening whistle Australia went for the match as they completely took charge, going on the attack from the get go. Mile Jedinak was keen to show his wares, having two early chances but he couldn’t hit the net.
In the 15th minute Tim Cahill could well have given Australia the lead after a save from Aaron Mooy’s shot. Pavel Matyash’s save fell in to the path of Cahill who shot with an open goal but could only find the woodwork.
The Socceroos were forced into an early change when Tomi Juric could not continue, going down with an injury. That brought on Nathan Burns, who came on in a like for like switch up front for the Socceroos.
Just ten minutes later the break through came as Burns was brought down in the box, which gave Australia a penalty. That allowed Jedinak to step up and he buried the penalty, placing it perfectly out of the reach of the keeper.
In stoppage time Australia thought they had doubled their lead as Ballon d’Or long-list candidate Massimo Luongo had the ball in the back of the net. But Luongo was denied by the offside flag which kept it 1-0 at half-time.
That was only a temporary break for the Kyrgyzstanis as Australia quickly made it two in the second half, in the 50th minute. Mooy found Tim Cahill with a great ball, allowing him through one-on-one with Pavel to make it two as he sent it down low to the left.
Cahill had another chance just four minutes later as again Mooy sent a ball in for the veteran again. But Cahill slipped, just getting a foot to it, only to be flagged for an offside, letting him off for the slip.
Disaster struck for Kyrgyzstan in the 69th minute and again Mooy was a key part of the move as he sent in a ball. That cross looked to be cleared by Ildar Amirov who headed it but it skimmed off the back of his head and over the keeper to give the Socceroos a 3-0 lead.
With that lead, the Socceroos were just passing it around comfortably, with Kyrgyzstan having little answers on the attack. The Socceroos comfortably got the win, and will head to Bangladesh looking to keep the pressure up on Jordan.