Melbourne City striker Tim Cahill came off the bench to fire the Socceroos to a precious 1-0 win over the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday morning (AEST).
Cahill’s second-half volley, his 48th goal for his country, was enough to ensure Ange Postecoglou’s side maintained its perfect start to Group B in the final phase of World Cup qualification.
Australia toiled for the best part of an hour in difficult playing conditions at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, only for Cahill to turn the match on its head only four minutes after his introduction.
With his first touch of the ball, Cahill evaded his marker in the penalty area and steered home Brad Smith’s pin-point cross to secure a vital three points.
“Like I said time and time again, whether it’s five minutes or 90 minutes, people know what I can do,” Cahill said post-match.
“That’s what I want to do. I want them [opposition teams] to be fearful of me when I come on. “I want them to give me some space and I’ve earned that respect over the last 10 years, and I’m not going sit back, I’m really going to push as hard as I can.
“This result, every time we put on the jersey, means so much.”
Cahill will link up with his City teammates for the remainder of the Club’s pre-season tour in Townsville, as John van’t Schip’s side aim to secure a place in the Westfield FFA Cup Semi Final in two weeks time.