The Socceroos got off to a brilliant start in the final phase of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup and defeated China 3-0, thus extending their winning streak to nine games for the second time in their 99-year history.

After a slow start in the air-conditioned Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Australia struck twice in rapid-fire flashes in just over two minutes to half an hour.

And a third goal to replace Mitch Duke, barely a minute after kicking, sealed a comfortable result in a result that could have been far more one-sided if the Socceroos had been more clinical in front of the goal.

The game stood out as a potential banana peel as China came up to a five-game winning streak and had 12 days of preparation, compared to just two Australian training sessions.

But China performed surprisingly poorly, and the imperious Socceroos were barely threatened in a sensational performance with a debut for full-back Callum Elder and the return of stars Tom Rogic and Aaron Mooy for the first time since 2019.

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Australia started poorly, giving China repeated possession in the first 10 minutes. But the rust was shaken off afterwards as the Socceroos pushed ever further forward, finding gaps in the Chinese defense thanks to some grandeur

A perfectly weighted 40-meter praise from central defender Trent Sainsbury met a shot by Awer Mabil in the 24th minute, who did not get past the goalkeeper on the first attempt. But Adam Taggart took the deflected parade and pounded it on the back post so Mabil could storm home acrobatically.

Mabil was lucky enough not to be penalized for the goal by sticking his boot near the head of the closest Chinese defender but was beaming after scoring his fifth goal in 18 games.

“I love it every time I play for my country,” he said after the game.

His lightning-fast runs from the left flank behind the center-backs were a highlight throughout the game, and he revealed that his connection with Sainsbury came straight from the training paddock. “We practiced the runs at the back. It’s a shame that I couldn’t finish it the first time when he played the beautiful through pass. “

He added, “We’re here to make history so it’s really good for the books, but we’ve got more to go and we’re just getting started. I am excited to see what we will do. It’s really nice that it’s starting to show because we’re here to make history. “

Then it was Martin Boyle’s other winger who caught a long ball from Tom Togic at the end, stormed forward and unleashed it from the edge of the box into the lower corner.

Australia was absolutely dominant, with Andy Harper commenting that China looked “a bit like roadkill”.

It was Boyle’s fourth goal in just eight games for green and gold.

The Socceroos attackers kept lining up to shoot, with China unable to regain possession and seriously jeopardizing Mat Ryan’s goal.

A handball claim to an Australian penalty kick was dismissed by the VAR, while the Socceroos squandered a number of chances to increase the lead as the players chose to shoot rather than play with teammates in better positions in the penalty area.

China responded with a double move at halftime, Xizhe Zhang replaced by Hao Junmin and ailing defender Yu Dabao replaced by Gang Wang. China continued to ring in the changes, making three more every hour.

Australia continued to threaten but failed to make a breakthrough before Boyle and Adam Taggart were substituted on for Aaron Mooy and Mitch Duke, respectively, in the 69th minute.

Less than a minute after coming on, Duke poked home from six yards after a shot from Mabil scored a save that fell straight at the veteran striker. Mabil had been played through a simple pass from Tom Rogic into the penalty area on the left when China’s porous defense went out of position again.

His debut was full-back Callum Elder, who came on in the 78th minute and replaced Aziz Behich. And Jimmy Jeggo came for Jackson Irvine. But at this point, China was largely praying for the final whistle.

Australia continued to rally the shots – 21 total – but Graham Arnold will be hoping for a more clinical performance in the attacking third after a bad finish and decision-making made the result more respectable.

Australia next travels to Hanoi for a clash with Vietnam on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, Japan were stunned by 1-0 in Oman, a massive surplus that has already caught the qualifying group’s attention – leaving the star-studded Japanese side chasing a big win against China next.

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TEAM NEWS

Graham Arnold appointed an expanded 27-man squad to face China and meet Vietnam next Tuesday.

This includes the return of five stars, including Aaron Mooy and Tom Rogic, who have not donned the green and gold jersey since the end of 2019.

There are also three potential debutants – goalkeeper Paul Izzo, full-back Callum Elder and full-back Ryan Strain. Including this trio, a remarkable 14 of the 27 players on the squad have less than 10 games for Australia, a sign of Arnold’s commitment to renewing and deepening the Socceroos unit.

The Socceroos returned to an offensive 4-2-3-1 line-up favored by Arnold.

Mat Ryan took the gloves off despite not playing after injuring himself after a blockbuster transfer to Real Sociedad in Spain.

In defense, the sole representative of the A-League, Rhyan Grant, started on the right side of the defense, with a center-back duo of Harry Souttar and Trent Sainsbury as well as Aziz Behich on the left.

In midfield, a double pivot from Ajdin Hrustic and Jackson Irvine anchored Tom Rogic in the attacking midfield position.

On the wings, Awer Mabil and the formidable Martin Boyle supported Adam Taggart in the role of the center forward.