The Courier-Mail

FU­TURE LOOK­ING BRIGHT

- DAVID DAVUTOVIC

THE Soc­ceroos’ dis­ci­plined World Cup qual­i­fy­ing rout of Bangladesh was a glimpse into life af­ter Tim Cahill and it looks rosier than ever.

Ranked 112 spots be­low Aus­tralia the woe­ful Tigers were hardly an ideal yard­stick, but coach Ange Postecoglo­u may not have flirted with such se­lec­tion risks a year ago.

Aside from Mark Mil­li­gan, who turned 30 last month, the first XI com­prised of play­ers that, age-wise, will all still be in the mix when the 2022 World Cup comes around.

While the game re­sem­bled a train­ing ses­sion with Bangladesh strug­gling to string three passes to­gether, the sharp­ness, in­ter­play and smarts of the Soc­ceroos mid­field and at­tack was im­pres­sive.

This was the first step in mak­ing the team less re­liant on Cahill and par­tic­u­larly his aerial abil­ity. The Soc­ceroos’ at­tack roamed Perth’s nib Sta­dium like stray cats, mean­ing it was of­ten hard to pin­point the 4-1-2-3 for­ma­tion.

With Mil­li­gan sit­ting, Tom Rogic caused havoc ahead along­side Aaron Mooy and Mas­simo Luongo im­pressed in an un­usual wide right role as Mathew Leckie led the line with Nathan Burns on the other side.

“Tim was ready to go, but we put out a team that I thought will be re­ally mo­bile and test the op­po­si­tion and give an op­por­tu­nity to some guys that need ex­pe­ri­ence,’’ Postecoglo­u said. “I wanted plenty of move­ment and in­ter­change be­tween our mid­field­ers and our front guys and it’s some­thing we want to even­tu­ally evolve to so it was de­cent progress in that area.’’

Ta­jik­istan in Dushanbe next week will be a far sterner test for the Soc­ceroos.

 ??  ?? ON THE AT­TACK: Mas­simo Luongo con­trols the ball against Bangladesh, and (right) Tim Cahill af­ter miss­ing a goal. Pic­tures: Getty Im­ages, Daniel Wilkins
ON THE AT­TACK: Mas­simo Luongo con­trols the ball against Bangladesh, and (right) Tim Cahill af­ter miss­ing a goal. Pic­tures: Getty Im­ages, Daniel Wilkins

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia