Socceroos win 2-1, now comes a nervous wait


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    Mathew Leckie has given the Socceroos a World Cup qualifying lifeline, striking a late winner to earn Australia a 2-1 win over Thailand.

    But whether Leckie’s goal – coming after Tomi Juric’s opener and Pokklaw Anan’s stunning reply – is enough to send the Socceroos to Russia next year remains to be seen.

    Australia must sweat on the result of the Saudi Arabia-Japan match early on Wednesday morning (AEST), where any win for the home side in Jeddah will send the Green Falcons to the 2018 tournament.

    But there was no lack of enterprise on display at AAMI Park, where the Socceroos achieved the result they wanted, but not the scoreline.

    On a numbingly cold Melbourne night, Australia laid siege to the Thailand goal.

    Ange Postecoglou’s side racked up an astonishing 45 shots and had 74 per cent possession but scored just twice.

    “It could have been over five (goals) very, very easily,” Juric said after the match.

    “It was just one of those nights where the ball doesn’t want to go in.

    “A little but frustrating and now leaves us in a position of waiting for another result to go our way which is definitely not what we wanted.”

    Both Mooy and Tim Cahill, returned to the starting line-up among six changes by Postecoglou, rattled the goalposts in the opening quarter-hour.

    What appeared to be a rout in the making quickly turned into a frustrating night for the Socceroos.

    Time after time, Australia went forward, only to be thwarted by the Thai rearguard.

    Goalkeeper Sinthaweechai Hathairattanakool made a string of superb saves, none better than a close-range effort to deny Juric’s first-half volley.

    The striker finally broke through on 69 minutes, heading home Aaron Mooy’s pinpoint cross and sparking a mad scramble to run up the scoreline.

    Instead, it was Thailand who stunned Australia on the counter, with Pokklaw thrashing home off the crossbar with eight minutes remaining.

    Leckie saved Australia’s blushes.

    The right-winger jumped on a loose ball and threaded it through a congested box to ensure a Socceroos win.

    They must now wait to learn if they will be going to Russia – or headed for a dreaded two-leg home-and-away qualifying route through Asia and North or Central America.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (51)

    • September 5th 2017 @ 9:54pm
      Bazz said | September 5th 2017 @ 9:54pm | ! Report

      We have a coach who’s personal hubris is more important than playing a formation that actually suits the players we have at our disposal.

      How many games do we need to play to understand this formation isn’t going to work.

      • September 5th 2017 @ 10:03pm
        chump said | September 5th 2017 @ 10:03pm | ! Report

        Buzz, ange’s women’s record speaks for itself. It’s only a wonder that it took so long for him to fail completely.

        • September 5th 2017 @ 10:16pm
          Michaelj said | September 5th 2017 @ 10:16pm | ! Report

          I think Ange is ok. The players missed easy shots and should have had six or seven goals- then the coach is a genius.

          • September 5th 2017 @ 10:31pm
            jnr referee said | September 5th 2017 @ 10:31pm | ! Report

            We had more chances you could poke at stick at…nothing wrong with the coach…the players are to blame!

      • Roar Pro

        September 5th 2017 @ 10:18pm
        anon said | September 5th 2017 @ 10:18pm | ! Report

        Ange is the king of Asia!

        Looking forward to his post-match lecture interview.

      • Roar Guru

        September 5th 2017 @ 11:10pm
        Kaks said | September 5th 2017 @ 11:10pm | ! Report

        To be fair, this was probably the best we’ve played with the formation due to the players that were picked – such as no Kruse, and Gersbach playing in lieu of Smith.

        We just couldnt finish, and that has nothing to do with Ange. He’s not the one putting it into the back of the net.

    • September 5th 2017 @ 9:58pm
      James said | September 5th 2017 @ 9:58pm | ! Report

      Officials won that for us; our goalkeeper escaping a yellow, their guy getting a yellow at 22 minutes was questionable at that point, their goal keeper having that free kick which i dont know how that was direct and that penalty was shocking. The worst thing with that penalty was that the ref didnt even glance at the linesman, he gave it right away.

    • Roar Guru

      September 5th 2017 @ 10:02pm
      Scott Pryde said | September 5th 2017 @ 10:02pm | ! Report

      “Any boss who sacks anyone for not showing up to work tomorrow is a bum.”

    • September 5th 2017 @ 10:04pm
      Sriracha said | September 5th 2017 @ 10:04pm | ! Report

      Caltex TEN & SBS support Australian Football

      “Tonight I expect them to score a bag full of goals.”

      “To add we will keep a clean sheet.”

      • Columnist

        September 5th 2017 @ 10:10pm
        Stuart Thomas said | September 5th 2017 @ 10:10pm | ! Report

        Depends how big your bag is and clean sheets are hard to come by. What was your prediction? Obviously not a fan of Caltex who is a pretty good judge with much street credibility.

        • September 5th 2017 @ 10:16pm
          Sriracha said | September 5th 2017 @ 10:16pm | ! Report

          Game after game Socceroos fans arrogantly claim their side will smash the physically smaller Asian sides.

          “We will smash UAE!” “We will smash Thailand!” “We will smash Iraq!”

          Stop underestimating Asian football.

          Australia hasn’t smashed Thailand since ten plus years! Muangthong United finished above Brisbane Roar in the ACL this year. Haha

          • Roar Pro

            September 5th 2017 @ 10:20pm
            anon said | September 5th 2017 @ 10:20pm | ! Report

            How many games have Thailand won in this group?

            They’re not a good team.

            • September 5th 2017 @ 10:33pm
              GUZal12 said | September 5th 2017 @ 10:33pm | ! Report

              australia 2-2 thailand in bangkok
              australia 2-1 thailand in melbourne

              we are pretty terrible as well

            • September 5th 2017 @ 10:35pm
              The Auteur said | September 5th 2017 @ 10:35pm | ! Report

              The fact we struggled to beat the Thais who are “not a good team” means what for us?

              This isn’t only time we’ve struggled to beat so-called Asian minnows.

              • Roar Pro

                September 5th 2017 @ 10:42pm
                anon said | September 5th 2017 @ 10:42pm | ! Report

                It means our national lecturer coach has failed at his job.

          • September 5th 2017 @ 11:01pm
            hogdriller said | September 5th 2017 @ 11:01pm | ! Report

            This comment has been removed for breaching The Roar’s comments policy.

    • September 5th 2017 @ 10:06pm
      Sriracha said | September 5th 2017 @ 10:06pm | ! Report

      where are the arrogant fans predicting the Thais would be smashed with nothing to play. Obviously know nothing about Thai football

      • Roar Guru

        September 5th 2017 @ 10:15pm
        Rick Figjam said | September 5th 2017 @ 10:15pm | ! Report

        That’s football mate. Thailand are S#iT

        39 shots on goal, the score could have easily been 10-1.

        As I said: that’s football.

        • Roar Guru

          September 5th 2017 @ 10:45pm
          AdelaideDocker said | September 5th 2017 @ 10:45pm | ! Report

          39 shots? Damnnnn. Good to lock in the win, though. I watched a few minutes of it when I got home from uni, but didn’t stay near the TV for the goals.

          Ironic how we’re now all going to be praying for a Japanese win tomorrow, but from what I’ve heard that’s fairly likely.

          • Roar Guru

            September 5th 2017 @ 10:54pm
            Rick Figjam said | September 5th 2017 @ 10:54pm | ! Report

            I’d say there’s a 50-50 chance of Japan getting a result.

        • Roar Rookie

          September 5th 2017 @ 11:04pm
          William Dalton Davis said | September 5th 2017 @ 11:04pm | ! Report

          If rogic had been one foot more accurate tonight he very well could’ve put 5 or more past. Keeper kept out a few good ones though. I think Australia played him into the game of his life.

      • Columnist

        September 5th 2017 @ 10:15pm
        Stuart Thomas said | September 5th 2017 @ 10:15pm | ! Report

        Please read my preview and you will see a measured view on the contest. You seem to be a little angry and proud whilst seeking to take a shot at those who felt the Socceroos would thump the Thais. Not everyone felt that and if the visitors removed the bus from in front of goal and chose to attack in a meaningless game for them, the Socceroos might have put five or six on them. Heck, them almost did with a greyhound parked in front of them.

        • September 5th 2017 @ 10:17pm
          Sriracha said | September 5th 2017 @ 10:17pm | ! Report

          Stuart Thomas, you are one of the few posters with an educated prediction and understanding about how tough WCQ are in Asia these days

    • Roar Rookie

      September 5th 2017 @ 10:09pm
      William Dalton Davis said | September 5th 2017 @ 10:09pm | ! Report

      Watching that was so worth it. Had no idea Austin powers was on tonight.

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