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Tim Cahill will play his final match in Australian colours when the Socceroos have their final tune-up ahead of the Asian Cup against Lebanon in Sydney. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 7:30pm (AEDT).
The Australian team, under the relatively new management of Graham Arnold, have plenty to prove in this match before they depart of the United Arab Emirates and an Asian Cup defence.
It’s been four years since Ange Postecogolou led the nation to that historic triumph on home soil, and since there has been some up and down football played.
Still, the new management of Graham Arnold presents a new dawn and their win over Kuwait away from home was a strong first outing a month ago.
Their performance in Brisbane against South Korea on Saturday night was less so though, with only an injury-time goal allowing the Aussies to walk away with a draw and something to take as a positive out of the contest.
Still, Lebanon are a number of levels below South Korea, and Australia, with plenty of goal-scoring potential up front and Aaron Mooy running things in the midfield, should be able to put a couple of goals on tonight.
Tim Cahill will also take plenty of attention into the contest. This is his farewell match for the country, with the nation’s best ever likely to only play the final five or ten minutes. Still, it would be quite something to see him bang a goal in.
Lebanon are a side on the rise, although a long way off the pace. Ranked just outside the top 80 in the world, they have qualified for their first major tournament at next year’s Asian Cup.
The Cedars play a 5-4-1 formation, so will be hard to break down at the back if they get their defence going, and a goalless draw against Uzbekistan in their last outing goes to prove that. Watch out for names like Hassan Maatouk and brothers Felix and Alexander Michel if they do manage to get any counter attacks going through Australia’s pressing defence.
You’d think Australia will be able to run away with this game against a Lebanese side who are ranked well down the pecking order. They will fight hard, but it’s important for the Socceroos to make something of a statement out of this game.
Australia 2 – Lebanon 0.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of this international friendly from 7:30pm (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
Kick-off: 7:30pm (AEDT)
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Homebush
TV: Live, Fox Sports 503 and TenBoss
Online: Live, Foxtel app, Foxtel now, Tenplay, The Roar live blog
Betting: Australia $1.1,7 Draw $4, Lebanon $17
Overall record: Played 1, Australia 1, Lebanon 0
Last meeting: September 6, 2012 – Australia 3 defeat Lebanon 0
Mustafa Amini, Aziz Behich, Martin Boyle, Tim Cahill, Milos Degenek, Alex Gersbach, Craig Goodwin, Rhyan Grant, Jackson Irvine, James Jeggo, Tomi Juric, Matthew Jurman, Mitch Langerak, Mathew Leckie, Massimo Luongo, Awer Mabil, Jamie Maclaren, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Andrew Nabbout, Josh Risdon, Mathew Ryan, Trent Sainsbury, Danny Vukovic
Mehdi Khalil, Mostafa Matar, Abbas Hassan, Kassem El Zein, Mootaz Jounaidi, Nour Mansour, Nassar Nassar, Joan Oumari, George Felix Melki, Hassan Samih Chaito, Walid Ismail, Robert Alexander Melki, Mohamad Haidar, Adnan Haidar, Nader Matar, Samir Ayass, Bassel Jradi, Hassan Maatouk (captain), Hassan Ali Chaito, Omar Bugiel Chaaban, Rabih Ataya