Tajikistan
0
World Cup Qualifiers
(Tue 08 Sep 2015, 06.00PM LOCAL)
FINAL
Venue: Republican Central Stadium
Fox Sports
Australia
3

Timeline

Postecoglou fumes at press conference

Play Video

Tough conditions suit Socceroos

Play Video

Preview: Socceroos v Tajikistan

Play Video
Watching
Postecoglou fumes at press conference
Postecoglou fumes at press conference
Watching
Tough conditions suit Socceroos
Tough conditions suit Socceroos
Watching
Preview: Socceroos v Tajikistan
Preview: Socceroos v Tajikistan

Preview: Socceroos v Tajikistan

MATCH DETAILS

Tuesday, 8 September 2015
Republican Central Stadium
Dushanbe, Tajikistan
11.00pm AEST kick-off

TELEVISION: The Tajikistan v Socceroos match will be broadcast exclusively LIVE on FOX SPORTS 1 (channel 501) and on a one hour delay on SBS; tune in from 10.30pm AEST to catch all the build-up before kick-off at 11.00pm.

RADIO: Listen in to SBS Radio 3 digital, streaming online at www.sbs.com.au/radio or via the SBS Radio App from 10.30pm.

On Tuesday night the Socceroos will aim to make it three wins from three in qualification for FIFA World Cup Russia 2018™. But it won't be easy.

After Australia eased past Bangladesh on Thursday in Perth and edged Kyrgyzstan 2-1 in Bishkek last June, Mubin Ergashev’s Tajikistan will provide Australia with their trickiest test to date in qualification.

The game is being played amid the backdrop of civil unrest in the Tajik capital Dushanbe. What’s more, the Tajiks will be desperate for three points to kick-start their campaign as they cast a realistic eye on second spot in the group.

Socceroo coach Ange Postecoglou hinted strongly that his team selection for last Thursday’s Bangladesh qualifier in Perth – which resulted in a 5-0 rout of the Bengal Tigers – was made with one eye on Tajikistan.

So expect one or two changes when the Socceroos run out in front of a hostile crowd at the Republican Central Stadium.

The pitch at Dushanbe's 24,000 capacity venue (also known as the Pamir Stadium) is an artificial surface. This should suit the Socceroos down to the ground given their slick passing and possession game (Perth’s pitch was perfect for that type of game, unlike the shoddy surface in Bishkek for June’s narrow win over the plucky Kyrgyzstan).

The heat will be a factor, though, with the forecast on game day tipped to be around 32 degrees (6pm local time for kick off).

Australia certainly have the quality to win the possession stats with Tom Rogic, Aaron Mooy and Mark Milligan in midfield all adept at holding the ball and controlling the game. And in the heat Australia will aim to work the Tajiks.

And after the experience in Bishkek, will be mentally ready for the unique challenge of playing in Central Asia against an opponent they’ve never faced before (not to mention in a country reeling from an outbreak of politically motivated violence with dozens dead in recent days).

Ergashev is likely to play a number of familiar names from FC Istikol, a domestic club he previously coached. And he claims taking the game to their opponent would be "suicide".

He took the role temporarily in July and Australia will be his first game on the international stage after he succeeded the departing Mukhsin Mukhamadiev. If his comments are to be believed, expect a cagey counter-attack game plan from the 158 world ranked Tajiks.

The Central Asians have just one point from their opening two games in Group E - a 3-1 home loss to Jordan followed by a 1-1 draw in Dakar (they didn’t play last Thursday).

For Tajikistan, finishing second in the group is the goal and to do that, three points against Australia would be gold dust.

But the Socceroos, the reigning Asian Champions, have the quality to come out of this tie with another three points against an opponent likely to sit back and try to hit them on the break.

Australia will fear nothing. They are professionally prepared with some of the best support staff around and a team in form and confident in their ability.

Expect another fascinating encounter on the Road to Russia this Tuesday night.

The Tajikistan v Socceroos match will be broadcast exclusively LIVE on FOX SPORTS 1 (channel 501) and on a one hour delay on SBS; tune in from 10.30pm AEST to catch all the build-up before kick-off at 11.00pm.

Socceroos Official Social

Instagram

  • LINEUPS
  • FORMATION
  • OFFICIAL
  • SOCIAL
BACK TO TOP
  • teams
  • players
  • graphics
FFA TV | Socceroos v Tajikistan in review Play Video

FFA TV | Socceroos v Tajikistan in review

Take a look back at behind-the-scenes footage of the Socceroos' 3-0 win over Tajikistan.

Post Match Videos

Pregame videos

FFA TV | Socceroos v Tajikistan in review

Play Video

Socceroos put Tajikistan to the sword

Play Video

Socceroos win third World Cup qualifier

Play Video

Postecoglou fumes at press conference

Play Video
Watching
FFA TV | Socceroos v Tajikistan in review
FFA TV | Socceroos v Tajikistan in review
Watching
Socceroos put Tajikistan to the sword
Socceroos put Tajikistan to the sword
Watching
Socceroos win third World Cup qualifier
Socceroos win third World Cup qualifier
Watching
Postecoglou fumes at press conference
Postecoglou fumes at press conference

Cahill brace helps Socceroos see off Tajikistan

The Socceroos have maintained their 100 percent record on the road to Russia 2018, seeing off a stubborn Tajikistan 3-0 in Dushanbe on Tuesday night.

Second half goals from stalwarts Mark Milligan and skipper Tim Cahill – who finished with a brace - ensured all three points for Australia, to maintain their spot on top of the group after three games.

It was a far tougher assignment for Ange Postecoglou’s side than they faced against Bangladesh last week but they did what was required against the 158th-ranked East Asian nation.

Aaron Mooy produced another exceptional performance in midfield, while the back-four were again solid and disciplined for the entire 90 minutes.

Postecoglou made three changes from the side that crushed Bangladesh just five days ago.

Tom Rogic, Nathan Burns Tarek Elrich all dropped to the bench, replaced by Matt McKay, Ryan McGowan and Cahill.

And it was Cahill that had Australia’s best opportunities early on, missing the target with three separate headed chances.

The artificial surface at the Central Republican Stadium clearly affected the speed of the Socceroos game but they were still fizzing the ball around with confidence.

GALLERY: Socceroos overpower tricky Tajikistan

Mathew Leckie’s pace was causing problems as well, but every time the visitors created a shooting-chance, a Tajik body was in the way.

The Socceroos' best chance of the first half came on the half hour mark with the home side somehow surviving a double scare.

Massimo Luongo’s close-range effort was brilliant kept out by ‘keeper Alisher Dodov, before the rebound eventually found its way into the path of Leckie at the top of the box, with his goal-bound effort cleared off the line.

Despite having almost double the possession and attempting 15 shots to the Tajiks three, the Green and Gold had to be content with being on level terms at the break.

Only the width of the crossbar denied the Socceroos and Mooy five minutes after the restart.

The Melbourne City star let rip with a powerful free-kick from 30 metres out, the ball dipping wickedly but only hitting the woodwork with the ‘keeper beaten.

Mooy’s next involvement seven minutes later was more telling, playing in the corner which fell to Milligan to poke it home from a couple of metres out.

The result was made safe 17 minutes from time with Cahill finishing off a brilliant move for his 40th Socceroos goal.

Milligan chipped the ball out to substitute Burns on the right, the FC Tokyo man rewarding Ryan McGowan’s lung-busting overlapping run with an exquisite pass before the fullback found Cahill for a simple tap-in.

After Luongo and Burns both squandered glorious opportunities soon in the latter stages, Cahill put the icing on the cake in the final minute with a superb header from Tommy Oar’s centre.

That’s three wins from three for the Socceroos sets up a top-of-the-table clash away in Jordan next month.

Match Details

Tajikistan 0

Australia 3 (Mark Milligan 58’, Tim Cahill 75’, 90’)

Socceroos Lineup 18. Adam Federici (gk), 3. Jason Davidson, 4. Tim Cahill, 5. Mark Milligan, 6. Matt Spiranovic, 7. Mathew Leckie (11. Tommy Oar 78’), 8. Bailey Wright, 14. Aaron Mooy (20. Tom Rogic 68’), 17. Matt McKay (16. Nathan Burns 68’), 19. Ryan McGowan, 21. Massimo Luongo