Robbie Kruse celebrates after scoring Australia’s third goal against Jordan at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Michael Dodge Source: Getty Images
THE Socceroos have taken a massive step towards World Cup qualification, beating Jordan with the utmost authority 4-0 at Etihad Stadium.
Goals to Mark Bresciano, Tim Cahill, the outstanding Robbie Kruse and skipper Lucas Neill have lifted Australia into second place in Asia’s Group B.
Victory over Iraq in their final qualifier in Sydney next week will guarantee a place in Brazil, with the top two in the group automatically through to next year’s World Cup finals.
The Socceroos controlled most of the match with delightful passing – mainly via the vision of Bresciano.
Kruse, Luke Wilkshire and Brett Holman were particularly dangerous in the first half in a right-sided triangle which unlocked Jordan’s defence time and again.
Tommy Oar teamed with Holman and Kruse in some neat interplay to create the opening goal in the 15th minute.
It was Kruse who slid in a well-timed cross from the right for Bresciano to slam home before striking his trademark Spartacus pose to the delight of more than 43,000 fans.
While Australia dominated, Jordan did have two solid opportunities – including the first of the match on 12 minutes to Saeed Murjan, who forced a good save from Mark Schwarzer.
Mark Bresciano is hugged by Socceroos teammates after scoring the opening goal against Jordan at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Petch Colleen
Ahmad Hayel shot just over the bar on 28 minutes, though they were brief counter-attacks in what was mainly one-way Socceroos traffic.
Jordan sharpened up their attack early in the second half and briefly menaced, before striker Cahill added to his near goal-per-two-games record for his country.
Wonderful lead-up work from Sasa Ognenovski, Bresciano, Holman and a killer cross from Kruse allowed Cahill to head home on 61 minutes to ensure victory.
Then Kruse added a third, nutmegging a defender with a blind turn and slamming home for a 76th minute goal.
It was richly deserved, with the Bayer Leverkusen winger and Bresciano clearly Australia’s two best players.
Then party-time descended on Etihad Stadium as Neill headed home in the 84th minute for his first ever goal for his country – in his 91st appearance.
Herald Sun – 11 june 2013