World Cup - Asia Qualification Game - Group B - Final Round, week 5

Australia vs Jordan
2nd Leg - 7:30pm, Tuesday 11 June, 2013
at Docklands Stadium, Melbourne

Australia four to the good
by Zee Ko

(AFC photo)

Australia 4
(Mark Bresciano, 15', Tim Cahill, 61', Robbie Kruse, 76', Lucas Neill, 84')
Jordan 0

"Tonight is definitely no time for celebration. I don't want to hear of any new-born heroes tonight, that is definitely not an appropriate time," Australia coach Holger Osieck warned in his post-match conference.

Whatever the case, fans were certainly hailing the return of some familiar faces as Australia triumphed 4-0 over Jordan in a thrilling encounter at Docklands Stadium in Melbourne.

Mark Bresciano, Tim Cahill, Robbie Kruse and captain Lucas Neill all netted to hand Australia convincing win, as a World Cup Qualifying campaign that had once teetered on the brink of disaster finally righted itself again.

There were lots of storylines on the night, among them Neill's first international goal after more than ninety appearances for his country, or Bresciano's stellar showing in the middle of the park, but it was one time Melbourne Victory star Robbie Kruse who was the standout performer on the night.

The new Bayer Leverkusen recruit showed local fans what they had been missing out with a man-of-the-match performance, setting up two goals before scoring the third on 76 minutes.

Osieck had sent out a strong team on the night, with old and new both present and accounted for as young wing wizards Kruse and Tommy Oar complemented veterans Bresciano, Cahill and Mark Milligan in midfield.

Jordan had come into this game a point ahead of the Australians and confident of upsetting the odds, but found themselves stretched early on as Kruse and Oar repeatedly probed down the flanks.

Visiting goalkeeper Amer Shafi had to be alert to beat away a Brett Holman shot off a right wing cutback from Kruse, before Bresciano saw his shot fizz past the left goal post.

Australia were getting closer now and the first goal came but a minute later.

Once again, Kruse was the orchestrator, taking advantage of some confusion within the Jordanian ranks and skipping to the by-line before crossing low for Bresciano to convert from close range.

Khalil Zaid KH. Baniateyah was then carded for going through the back of Kruse, before Australia's dangerman once again whipped in a wicked cross that was just behind Cahill.

Jordan's plight was summed up as ironic cheers greeted Baseem Fathi's attempt on goal from outside the box, a shot that was as high as it was wide and still veering off course as it went out of bounds.

The visitors seemed to have settled into a rhythm after the break, with the dangerous Ahmad Hayel coming close on at least two occasions, before Osieck decided it was time for a change.

A huge roar from the crowd signalled home favourite Archie Thompson's entrance, as the hardworking Tommy Oar was taken off for a well-earned rest.

It was a substitution that paid immediate dividends as Thompson got a move going in central midfield, allowing Kruse to scamper free on the right flank and place a fantastic ball on to Cahill's head at the far post for Australia's second goal.

The home side were hungry for more now, cheered on by a crowd that was enjoying every moment as Jordan coach Adnan Hamad attempted to change things up with a double substitution.

Instead, it was a third Australian goal that killed things off as Kruse came up with a moment of pure footballing brilliance, nutmegging Mohammad Mustafa Hassan Ali before smashing in a shot that was too powerful for the goalkeeper to keep out.

The stage was set for Neill to score his first goal for his country with a reaction header five minutes from time, as Hamad hauled off goalkeeper Amer Shafi to prevent him from getting a yellow card that would rule him out of the last game against Oman.

Australia's World Cup Qualifying fate will now be in their own hands as they face Iraq on Tuesday 18th June in Sydney, with a win sufficient to see them through to the Finals.


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