‘Completely s***house’: Roos slammed

Football: Highlights from the WCQ between AUS and the UAE

While their win against the UAE was relieving, some fans were deeply disappointed with the Socceroos’ effort Tuesday night.

THE Socceroos blasted the United Arab Emirates 2-0 in a nailbiting must-win match at the Sydney Football Stadium Tuesday night.

The match couldn’t have started any better for the boys in green and gold as Jackson Irvine slotted an impeccable header in the sixth minute to put the home side on the board.

It was the first of two corner goals for the Socceroos. Mathew Leckie scored his second headed goal in two matches, butting-in a match-sealing goal in the 78th minute off a well-placed corner kick from James Troisi.

Leckie and fellow striker Brad Smith earned particular praise from coach Ange Postecoglou, saying they can “physically go with anybody in the world” in a post-match interview.

Roos veteran Tim Cahill set the 27,000-strong crowd alight when he stepped onto the pitch in the 71st minute, but fans weren’t given the opportunity to see their hometown gun perform his famous boxing routine. The 37-year-old instead played a support role in the final minutes of the match as the younger boys took over the scoring duties.

The win put to bed fears the Socceroos would lose their hopes at making it to the World Cup in Russia, but their overall performance against the UAE left a lot of fans worried for next year’s competition against football’s best.

Sporting their new 3-2-4-1 formation, the Roos looked static and indecisive, ending another match with goals only coming from corners.

It wasn’t the only controversy of the night, either. Australian reserves who were warming-up were awkwardly forced to dodge a number of jetstreams watering the pitch at halftime, prompting a number of incredulous fans to question the need to moisten the turf minutes before the second half.

Mathew Leckie’s goal late in the second half had the 27,000-strong crowd on their feet.

Mathew Leckie’s goal late in the second half had the 27,000-strong crowd on their feet.Source:AAP

Australia are now in control of their World Cup destiny with their win over the UAE.

It was far from a perfect performance but a meritorious result for Ange Postecoglou’s men, who looked dangerous with the ball and at set pieces.

The performances of Irvine and Troisi — standing in for absent pair Aaron Mooy and Tom Rogic — were spirited, and ultimately the difference. Irvine met Troisi’s sixth-minute corner, heading at Abdelaziz Sanqour so fiercely it clattered off the defender’s chest and into the goal. Australia was off and running, and so was the 24-year-old; embracing Troisi after his first international goal.

Troisi turned provider once more in the 78th minute, with Leckie rising to bury a carbon copy header to his effort against Iraq last week.

Football: Highlights from the WCQ.

The result doesn’t lift Australia into the automatic qualifying positions currently occupied by Japan and Saudi Arabia.

Given Ange Postecoglou’s side are still yet to play both of those teams, their fate remains firmly in their own hands.

The same can’t be said for UAE, which had chances but won’t feature in the 2018 tournament.

The Emirati did have their chances, as a shakiness persisted in the Socceroos defence.

Just as it was against Iraq, balls over the top troubled Australia. Prodigiously talented attacker Omar Abdulrahman forced a stunning save out of Mat Ryan, who replaced Mitchell Langerak in goal, from an early free kick. While spirited, UAE’s attacking threat failed to materialise as the Socceroos finished stronger.

With the points safe, Postecoglou threw on Denmark-based midfielder Mustafa Amini for his international debut.

with AAP

Football: Highlights from the WCQ between AUS and the UAE