News ID: 237200
Published: 0310 GMT January 11, 2019

Glittering Aussies rescue Asian Cup campaign

Glittering Aussies rescue Asian Cup campaign
Australia’s Awer Mabil celebrates after scoring during his team’s 3-0 victory over Palestine at the AFC Asian Cup in Dubai, the UAE, on January 11, 2019.
the-afc.com

Australia dominated Palestine 3-0 on Friday as the defending champion recovered from its shock opening defeat at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup and moved within sight of the last 16.

Goals from Hibernian striker Jamie Maclaren, Awer Mabil and substitute Apostolos Giannou put the much-improved Socceroos second in Group B with one game to go, AFP reported.

The Aussies will now go into next Tuesday's final group game against Syria with renewed confidence after banishing memories of their 1-0 upset at the hands of Jordan.

Coach Graham Arnold dropped the under-performing Massimo Luongo and Robbie Kruse in favor of Jackson Irvine and Chris Ikonomidis, who impressed as substitutes against Jordan.

And it was a far more dynamic team that opened its account on 18 minutes, when Celtic's Tom Rogic picked out Maclaren who scored his first international goal with a glancing header.

Two minutes later and gold-clad Australia was 2-0 up as Ikonomidis lofted a ball to the far post where Mabil sneaked in unmarked for a first-time finish.

Mabil could have doubled his tally before halftime but he skied his shot after a neat move through the middle involving captain Mark Milligan and Maclaren.

But Australia kept up its assault after the break as Palestinian defender Abdallah Jaber knocked an attempted clearance onto his own crossbar and Irvine headed just over.

The attacks kept coming and substitute striker Giannou, a late call-up after Scottish-born Martin Boyle was injured, nodded a deserving third for Australia in the final minute.

 

   
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