Socceroos advance to next stage of World Cup qualification with 5-0 win over Lebanon

Socceroos teammates mob Kusini Yengi after his second-minute goal against Lebanon in Canberra on Tuesday night.

Socceroos teammates mob Kusini Yengi after his second-minute goal against Lebanon in Canberra on Tuesday night. Photo: Getty

Australia is through to the final round of World Cup qualification after a masterful display from winger Craig Goodwin led them to a 5-0 win against Lebanon.

At Canberra’s GIO Stadium, Goodwin scored two goals and created another two with gorgeous deliveries into the box to get the Socceroos the comfortable result.

A dream night for Graham Arnold’s side saw both Kusini Yengi and John Iredale net their first international goals as Australia continues to search for a long-term answer up front.

They are now guaranteed a berth in third-round qualifiers which start in September, where a top-two finish in a six-team group will carry them to the 2026 showpiece tournament.

It will be a sixth consecutive trip to the FIFA World Cup finals for the Socceroos if they qualify.

A sold-out Canberra crowd only had to wait two minutes for Australia to lead, centre-forward Yengi finding his goal courtesy of an inch-perfect curling cross from Goodwin.

Yengi was in the right spot but jabbed his close-range effort onto the post, before shinning home the rebound.

Goodwin’s delivery into the box regularly tested the Lebanese defence, Ajdin Hrustic skying an effort from the edge of the area on the half hour after one of the winger’s most piercing balls.

Another teasing ball from the outside of his boot invited Harry Souttar to add to his impressive international tally, but the towering centre half directed his close-range header onto the post.

But those wasted chances mattered little, Goodwin producing a teasing set-piece delivery that forced Lebanese defender Bassel Jradi to turn the ball into his own net just two minutes into the second half.

Soon after, Goodwin found space on his left wing and lashed a dipping volley past Lebanon keeper Mostafa Matar from well outside the box.

Arnold made four team tweaks including Goodwin’s inclusion up front, and used the second-half lead to give debuts to Patrick Yazbek and Josh Nisbet.

Yazbek made an early impact, whipping in a perfect cross that Iredale could easily turn home, before Goodwin found an easy back post tap-in for his double on 81 minutes.

Five days on from a 2-0 win against the same opponent in Sydney, the Socceroos looked far more dangerous in attack and turned in a focused defensive effort that offered their opponents very little opportunity.

Lebanon entered the contest needing points to try and boost their own path through qualification, but routinely defended with 10 players behind the ball and rarely ventured forward with many numbers.

Conceding early against the Socceroos for a second straight game, Lebanon could have equalised on 14 minutes but attacking option Nader Matar fired his shot into the side-netting.


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