The startling signs of Roos’ striker troubles


Socceroos: Trent Sainsbury chats exclusively to Adam Peacock ahead of teh Socceroos’ must win World Cup Qualifier

Tim Cahill has scored 20 goals since Ange Postecoglou took charge

WHERE are the goals coming from when the Socceroos confront United Arab Emirates in their do-or-die World Cup qualifier?

It’s the key question confronting Ange Postecoglou’s side as they look to take a big step towards the 2018 tournament in Sydney on Tuesday night. As the stakes have been raised and the Socceroos have faced improved opposition through the qualifiers, goals have been a lot harder to come by. Tomi Juric, who has started up front in all five qualifiers during this phase when he’s been fit, is yet to hit the back of the net with any regularity.

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In the last three qualifiers, Australia have scored four times: three Mile Jedinak penalties and Mathew Leckie’s header from Aaron Mooy’s corner against Iraq.

Given Postecolgou’s reputation for putting on attacking masterclasses, it’s a surprising lack of output.

For some, the answer could be recalling Tim Cahill to the starting side. The 37-year-old has not started a match in this current qualifying phase, but did score Australia’s last winner after climbing off the bench against UAE last September.

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“Timmy comes into calculations but I thought Tomi was really strong on a tough pitch,” Postecoglou said of Juric’s exertions in the 1-1 draw against Iraq last week. “Some of our delivery to him was really poor.

“I like the way he’s developing in international football. It takes a while for strikers to get to that level.

“Timmy’s a threat, and we got 20 minutes out of him. He’s certainly ready to play if we go that way but either way he’ll definitely play a part.”

Captain Mile Jedinak – who is second in Australia’s goalscoring during this qualification – insisted the crucial factor isn’t who is on the park but composure in front of goal.

“There’s goal threats all over the park,” he said.

“Whoever is given the responsibility tomorrow to lead the line is going to have a threat. They’ll get opportunities.

“There’s countless (ways to goal but) it’s how we take them in those crucial moments, whether or not we take them.” Postecoglou agreed.

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“The other night we had some really good opportunities to get a second goal which we didn’t take,” he said.

“We’re trying to create multiple threats so it doesn’t fall on one person. But at the end of the day we’re still scoring goals.”

SOCCEROOS GOALSCORERS:

Under Ange Postecoglou

20 – Tim Cahill

12 – Mile Jedinak (8 penalties)

5 – Tom Rogic, Massimo Luongo

3 – Mathew Leckie, Tomi Juric, Trent Sainsbury, Nathan Burns, James Troisi, Mark Milligan (2 penalties)

2 – Aaron Mooy, Own Goal

1 – Tommy Oar, Matt McKay, Robbie Kruse, Bailey Wright, Jason Davidson

During 2018 World Cup qualifiers

9 – Tim Cahill

7 – Mile Jedinak

5 – Tom Rogic

3 – Nathan Burns, Massimo Luongo

2 – Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Mathew Leckie

1 – Trent Sainsbury, Tommy Oar, Tomi Juric

Originally published as The startling signs of Roos’ striker troubles