New Socceroos era begins with a bang
IN his first match as full-time Socceroos coach, Graham Arnold got the statement win he wanted as Australia beat Kuwait 4-0 on Tuesday morning (AEDT).
Awer Mabil scored on debut, Tomi Rogic returned to the scoresheet and Apostolos Giannou netted his first goal in a Socceroos shirt in the rout at the Kuwait Sports Club.
Australia played well short of their capabilities but got the scoreline their dominance deserved with two goals in the final 10 minutes.
It was a largely familiar starting XI as World Cup starters Mark Milligan, Trent Sainsbury, Josh Risdon, Aziz Behich, Tom Rogic, Mathew Leckie and Robbie Kruse were joined by squad members Danny Vukovic, Jackson Irvine and Massimo Luongo.
Solid 4-0 start to the Arnold era v Kuwait. Arzani, Rogic excellent. And what a debut for Awer Mabil with a goal for @Socceroos Genuine talent coming through ahead of Asian Cup defence. #KUWvAUS #socceroos— Robert Grasso (@RobertGrasso) October 15, 2018
Cypriot-based striker Giannou was the only new face as Arnold opted for a 4-3-3 formation, but he made his mark by doubling Australia's advantage in the 21st minute after an early own goal.
Solid if unspectacular from #Socceroos. Liked the spark added by the youngsters off the bench. Still puzzled how Arzani can’t get in a Celtic match-day squad. Rogic & Luongo the standouts. Work to do against better opposition heading into #AsianCup. #KUWvAUS— Rob Greenwood (@robgreenwood1) October 15, 2018
But it was the young firepower that came off the bench that showed the most promise. Arnold made six second half substitutions, introducing Daniel Arzani and Tomi Juric in the 65th minute, followed by Mabil and Mustafa Amini in the 73rd. Thomas Deng (76th minute) and Alex Gersbach (83rd) also featured late in the game.
Australia 4 (Ibrahim OG 12m, Giannou 21m, Rogic 82m, Mabil 88m)
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