It has been a perfect run in the group for host nation Australia so far.
Eight goals scored in two games, all by different players on the pitch.
The Socceroos have continued their scintillating form in this Asian Cup winning two games from two in their group, outclassing Oman on all aspects of the pitch.
Our team at THE TURF was contacted before the match by Stadium Australia letting us know the crowd attendance could top over 50,000 people.
We weren’t disappointed as Australian’s loyal followers flocked from far and wide in support for their nation playing on home soil.
Australia continued their dominant possession game which was displayed in their last performance against Kuwait in Melbourne.
Super Timmy Cahill led the squad out tonight wearing the captain’s armband in replacement for an injured Mile Jedinak.
The replacement also saw room for Mark Milligan and Matt McKay, two players who were finally given a run in the national side. Good things come to those who wait and McKay is the perfect example of that. The hard working midfielder was a stand out tonight dictating the run of play through the midfield. Although he wasn’t selected to score goals, he certainly knew how to find the net tonight finishing with a beautiful half volley, marking his second international goal for the Socceroos.
It only took the Socceroos another three minutes to score again as Massimo Luongo chipped a spectacular ball to assist Robbie Kruse finishing with ease in a one on one against the Omani keeper.
Luongo has grown into his element scoring a goal and recording two assists in the first two group games.
Milligan’s patience was also rewarded; scoring a penalty after his spectacular first goal was disallowed due to no advantage given. His tactical discipline in defense made it almost impossible for the Omani’s to find their way to goal in the first half.
The Socceroos came out in the second half with the same intensity, constantly pressing and shutting down every player. To think only a year ago, the Socceroos could only play out one half before fading out of the game. The Socceroos are now able to run out a full 90 minutes consistently displaying high intensity.
Leckie was unstoppable on the left wing and displayed a piece of “individual brilliance” crossing the ball with the outside of his right foot to find Mr Deadeye himself, Tomi Juric. The duo paired up to score one of the best goals that the tournament has seen so far making coach Ange Postecoglou a very happy coach.
“I think the way we play makes it very hard for the opposition, I try to build this team and give them belief and confidence that they can play attacking and aggressive football” said Postecoglou in his post-match press conference
The Australian brand of football produced within the Postecoglou camp is starting to come into full effect. The Socceroos have progressed from a team that often relied on a long ball and hard hitting tackles, to a team that can hold their own at the back playing their way forward in entertaining fashion.
Asian teams have recently found it difficult and frustrating coming up against the Socceroos- a regenerated young squad that opts to pass the ball around in tight areas, starving the opposition of the ball.
The real test for the team now is whether they can produce the same quality of football against stronger opponents. It all comes down to whether the team is prepared for when that time comes.
The future only looks brighter for the young Socceroos who hope to go all the way and win the illustrious trophy on home soil.
Words by Ari Charilaou
Photography by Aleks Jason