Archie Thompson scored for the Socceroos against Lebanon in the 3-0 win (Image: AFP)
The Socceroos will head into their World Cup qualifier in Jordan full of confidence after bouncing back to form with a 3-0 win over Lebanon in Beirut on Thursday night.
Tim Cahill and then Matt McKay found the back of the net within three minutes midway through the first half before Archie Thompson netted late to seal Australia’s first triumph since February.
Goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer was largely a spectator throughout his milestone 100th international appearance.
His team-mates showed passages of the cohesion and energy that will be required to earn the country a third straight World Cup berth.
The Saida Municipal Stadium, surrounded by military tanks and armed guards, provided every measure of tension the Socceroos could possibly have to deal with in Jordan on Tuesday (Wednesday morning AEST).
Coach Holger Osieck played his strongest pace and energy card in response to last month’s 3-1 humbling at the hands of Scotland, employing 23-year-old Robbie Kruse and Nikita Rukavytsya, 25, in attacking tandem for the first time.
However, a reminder of the value of experience came from the performances of Cahill and midfield veteran Mark Bresciano, who were sublime throughout their respective 60 and 45-minute contributions.
Bresciano and Cahill combined for Australia’s first shot on goal though it was another seasoned campaigner, Luke Wilkshire, who provided the final cross for Cahill to power home on twenty minutes.
Minutes later, McKay netted his first international goal – an angled effort on the end of a David Carney centre that was crafted by another exceptional Bresciano lead up.
With only a few minutes to play, Thompson provided a delicate finish after being played through by Brett Holman to put the gloss on a vastly improved Australian performance that augurs well ahead of the resumption of their World Cup qualification quest.© AAP 2013
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