The Socceroos defeated a weak Bangladeshi side 5-0 last night in Perth in a 2018 World Cup Qualifier. With the Football Federation Australia (FFA) a relatively new member of the Asian Federation, the qualifying process is still a relatively new one for the Socceroos. As winners of the Asian Cup last year, Australia are all but certain to cement their place in Russia but it’s the means by which they are embracing the lead up that is the real cause for optimism for Australian soccer fans.
With the players in dispute with the FFA over their pay, Australian Coach Ange Postecoglou was confident that his team was well and truly focused on defeating their inferior opposition who is ranked 100 places beneath the Socceroos on the FIFA World Rankings. The performance went a long way to proving him right as the Socceroos were workmanlike in their attack as they worked hard to split up the “park the bus” tactics of the Bangladesh team.
Naming a team with two number 10’s in Massimo Luongo and Tommy Rogic as well as Aaron Mooy, Postecoglou looked to attack early and emphasised his pursuit of a solid performance over a blow out result. He got both as the well drilled Socceroos went up 4-0 in the first half and forced two opponents off due to injury.
The Socceroos have shown an aggression that was not present prior to Ange taking reigns of the National squad. In his press conference he made several mentions of “their measurements” following the game being the focus for evaluation rather than the result. The focused nature of the Socceroos is a promising sign for Australian Soccer as a whole with an emphasis on performance rather than how much clout a player’s name has. The feeling of players that their good form in their respective domestic competitions as well their performance at training will be rewarded by the Manager is an integral part of the terrific team chemistry that was displayed from the performance.
The Socceroos now travel to play a tougher tie against a Tajikistan outfit on artificial turn away from home which will again be another opportunity for players to show off their potential contribution for the team come the 2018 Fifa World Cup. Tajikistan drew 1-1 with Bangladesh on June 16th.
Group B Table