Cahill’s cavalry and the Socceroos’ performance

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The Socceroos met expectations in a dominant victory over Bangladesh on Tuesday night.

The win takes the Aussies to top spot in their qualifying group as Jordan failed to respond, defeated in Kyrgyzstan later that night. The Socceroos racked up four goals in the first half and looked set for double figures in the second but the game would lose its luster after the break. It wasn’t the most exciting or competitive match you’ll ever see but there were some things we can take from it:

It may be painful but Ange needs to be thinking of future after Timmy

A first half hat trick shows there is no doubt that Tim Cahill still has it. But at 35 years of age, how long can he really keep going? A game against Bangladesh, which was only ever going to have one result, could have been a chance for coach Ange Postecoglou to try out something a bit different up top.

Cahill may keep scoring goals for the Socceroos until the day he retires but we have yet to see anybody ready to take his spot. It’s fair to say injuries to Matthew Leckie and Robbie Kruse haven’t helped. It’s never going to be easy to replace Australia’s all-time leading goal scorer but the longer it takes to bleed someone in, the more painful it will be.

Look at Mooy, look at Mooy

Aaron Mooy was another to impress overnight and carried his tremendous A-League form through to international duty. His passing and dead ball delivery were top notch and he had a hand in every goal on the night. The fact that he was taken off at half time and Australia lost their fluency after the break is no coincidence. He is making Asian Cup starlet Massimo Luongo the forgotten man and he could yet make that starting spot his own.

He’s not Joshing around

Right back Josh Risdon was handed his debut and made a good account of himself. The most he had to deal with defensively was a few long throws into the box from Bangladesh (who said Stoke City don’t have any international appeal?) and he was comfortable going forward. His lofted cross into the box set up Tim Cahill for his second. Risdon barely put a foot wrong and should be proud of a successful debut.

Bigger tests ahead

Australia’s fate is now in their own hands but they will face much bigger challenges next time they come together. Home fixtures against Tajikistan and particularly Jordan in March will be much sterner tests. If the Socceroos defeat Tajikistan, a point against Jordan will be enough to proceed. But it isn’t going to be as easy as Tuesday night’s affair.

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Lochy McIvor
Brisbane Roar and Tottenham Hotspur supporter. Jesus would have played in the hole. Follow me at @lochymci

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