Football 3 years ago

Juric injured as Socceroos turn to Dhaka

  • Juric injured as Socceroos turn to Dhaka

He would have preferred 10 goals against Kyrgyzstan, but coach Ange Postecoglou still saw promising signs from the Socceroos leading into their next World Cup qualifier with Bangladesh.

Postecoglou was a content man after Australia's 3-0 victory in Canberra on Thursday night, pleased with what he viewed as a convincing rebound from October's 2-0 defeat to Jordan which lacked aggression and intensity.

He made changes from that match, opting for a 4-4-2 diamond to play Tomi Juric and goalscorer Tim Cahill together up front, before the former came off with injury and replacement Nathan Burns went in for the kill.

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"Right from the kick-off we were very dominant, which we set out to be," Postecoglou said.

"I'd prefer we won 10-0, which we should have.

"But when you look at the number of chances we created, the way we played our football, where we played our football, I was very happy."

Australia's win relieved some of the pent-up tension since the Jordan fixture in Amman, and forges a clearer qualifying road to Russia.

The Socceroos remain second in their group but have closed the gap to one point shy of leaders Jordan, as they fight for top spot - or at the very least one of the four best second-placed nations from Asia's eight groups.

Postecoglou recognised a new depth in his squad after he was forced, through injuries, to give opportunities to some fringe players - and uncapped defender James Meredith.

Aaron Mooy's mesmerising brilliance aside, the manager labelled the midfield an area of renewed creativity.

"We've worked really hard the last 12 to 18 months to create depth, and we're getting it," Postecoglou said.

"Not just there, even at the back ... guys are stepping in.

"In the past we'd be talking about (Mathew) Leckie missing out or (Robbie) Kruse missing out.

"But we're getting to a really good space, and over the next few months I'll expect more depth to develop."

The only injury concerns centre around Juric and also Burns, who was subbed off early in the second stanza after originally replacing Juric just before halftime.

Juric appeared to pick up a groin problem while Burns thought he had a corked leg.

"Just above the knee. It was getting worse but it should settle down in 24 hours," the FC Tokyo strikers said.

"It should be alright (for Tuesday)."

Postecoglou praised Burns' dynamism against Kyrgyzstan's desperate defence.

"Nathan has an ability to kind of get in behind in the tightest of areas and make runs on the shoulders of defenders.

"He just posed them a little bit of a different problem they hadn't faced when Tomi and Timmy were the two frontmen."

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