The Socceroos secured six-straight international victories for the first time in 20 years as they maintained their perfect record in Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup™ Qualifying with a 5-1 victory over Chinese Taipei on Tuesday morning (AEST).
Following up from a 3-0 victory over hub hosts Kuwait on their international return four days ago, Graham Arnold made eleven changes to the Australian lineup who secured victory thanks to four different goalscorers.
Harry Souttar opened the scoring before Jamie Maclaren converted from the spot and Trent Sainsbury added a header of his own.
The second half saw the Socceroos score inside 30 seconds through Mitch Duke, before their opponents pulled one back on the hour mark through Gao Wei-Jie and Duke tapped home his brace late on.
A-League-based trio Denis Genreau (Socceroos cap #610), Connor Metcalfe (Socceroos cap #611) and Ruon Tongyik (Socceroos cap #612) were handed their international debuts as Australia advanced within one win of guaranteed qualification for the third phase of Asian qualifying.
After a couple of early chances floated narrowly wide from Brandon Borrello and Genreau, the Socceroos opened the scoring against Chinese Taipei through a familiar source.
Harry Souttar, who scored a brace last time these nations met, rose highest off a Riley McGree corner to nod home the first goal of the evening inside 11 minutes.
15 minutes later, another player whose last international goal came against Chinese Taipei doubled Australia's advantage from the spot as Jamie Maclaren was brought down in the area and hammered home his subsequent spot kick.
The Socceroos so nearly doubled their advantage immediately, striking the woodwork twice in a minute through McGree and Borrello.
They did find their third in the 41st minute, as another corner from the Birmingham City midfielder this time fell to captain Sainsbury, who headed home at the far post.
Less than 30 seconds into the second half, Australia found their fourth as debutant Genreau linked up nicely with Borrello, who lofted in a threatening delivery for Duke to flick home at the front post.
The away side pulled one back after 61 minutes, as a well-orchestrated cut-back towards debutant Gao Wei-Jie was rocketed into the top right corner - leaving Danny Vukovic with no chance.
But with five minutes to play, Australia capped off a solid performance with Duke's second and their fifth, as the Western Sydney Wanderers striker latched onto a Nikita Rukavystya lay-off to tap home into an empty net.
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