International City: Socceroos 5-1 Chinese Taipei


After a strong 3-0 win over Kuwait in their return to international action late last week, the Socceroos took a major step towards 2022 World Cup qualification with a 5-1 win over Chinese Taipei on Tuesday morning (AEST).

Mathew Leckie, City’s latest signing, took the armband and opened scoring within a minute last week but with the heat proving a challenge and a big squad to call on, Head Coach Graham Arnold overhauled his starting XI.

This would provide starting opportunities to Jamie Maclaren and Curtis Good, the latter earning his first Socceroos cap since his debut in 2014. Connor Metcalfe also received his first international cap after being subbed on in the second half.

Towering central defender Harry Souttar opened scoring with a header from a Riley McGree corner in the 11th minute, before Maclaren from the spot and Trent Sainsbury via another corner made it 3-0 before half-time.

Wanderers attacker Mitch Duke bagged a second half brace either side of a Wei-Jie Gao strike in 62nd.

Jamie Maclaren

City and Australia’s number nine took a little while to get into the action, with the Chinese Taipei defence happy to sit back and aim to suffocate the Socceroos attack from the opening whistle.

Maclaren was chopped down in the box just before the half hour mark by Chen Wei-Chaun and would make no mistake from the resulting spot kick, slamming it home straight down the middle.

This was Maclaren’s sixth goal for Australia with five of those coming in his last three appearances. He was able to get more involved once he was on the scoresheet, getting in behind the defence on multiple occasions.

Curtis Good

After injury troubles de-railed his career for multiple seasons following his first international appearance in 2014, Good finally returned to the level.

Off the back of a couple of strong A-League seasons since signing at City, Good was rewarded with a start and deployed at left-back rather than the heart of defence as we’re used to seeing.

While it may have been a long wait, he didn’t take long to settle, making some important interceptions and tackles on what was a very tricky pitch to play on. His passing as always was spot on with the tough conditions not proving to be an issue.

His fitness was again on full show, after starting all of City’s A-League fixtures prior to heading into camp, he ran out the full 90 minutes in the heat.

Connor Metcalfe

The 21-year-old City midfielder was rewarded for a breakout A-League with a first international appearance, subbed on in the 63rd minute.

Metcalfe looked comfortable in his first appearance for his country, getting on the ball and finding teammates as he completed 20 of his 23 attempted passes.

Leckie remained an unused substitute.

The Socceroos will be back in action on Saturday morning (AEST) to take on Nepal. The fixture will kick-off at 2.00am and will be live on ABC, Fox Sports, Kayo Freebies and the My Football Live app.