The Socceroos will be looking for another comprehensive victory tonight when they face Chinese Taipei in their final 2013 East Asian Cup qualifying game. We’ll have live scores and streaming from 8.00pm AEDT.
Socceroos boss Holger Osieck found himself under pressure after the team’s first two qualifying matches but he redeemed himself to an extent on Friday night.
Rogic, Babalj and Mooy were all named and the trio justified their selection with strong performances, with Babalj netting two and midfield general Mooy also finding himself on the scoresheet, with Heart youngster Michael Marrone also scoring.
With the Socceroos and DPR Korea both level on points and goal difference, expected victories against Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong respectively will mean that qualification into the 2013 tournament will come down to goal difference.
DPR Korea were able to hand out a 6-1 hiding to Chinese Taipei on the opening day of the qualification stage and if Australia can replicate their freewheeling performance from Friday night it is expected they should get a similiar result.
Osieck named a youthful side to play on Friday night after being heavily criticised for playing an older, more conservative starting XI in the opening games.
With the likes of Brett Emerton and Richard Garcia, who were both rested on Friday night, coming back into the selection frame after a four-day break it will be interesting to see which way Osieck elects to go.
The German may revert back to something close to his original lineup given the stakes are now higher, but it is hoped that he will continue with the likes of Babalj and Mooy, who well and truly justified their starting berths on Friday.
Whether the Socceroos qualify or not it is another good opportunity to examine Australia’s next generation and if they do get on the field they will do the job.