Analysis: Socceroos v Bangladesh

You can only beat what's in front of you. And that's exactly what the Socceroos did in Perth on Thursday night, dispatching a Bangladesh side clearly out of their depth.

But if the example of past struggles against so-called minnows is anything to go by, Australian football supporters should be grateful their Asian Cup-winning team had no issues taking the next step on the road to Russia 2018.

This game can now serve as a blueprint for the men in green and gold against other low-ranked nations early in World Cup qualifying.

 Five-star Socceroos overwhelm Bangladesh

The home team's attitude and application was first-rate right from kick-off at nib Stadium, no easy task after a long flight home for some, a lack of competitive action for others and the inherently underwhelming nature of the opposition.

It shouldn't be forgotten that Ange Postecoglou was missing likely starters through injury in Mathew Ryan, Ivan Franjic, Trent Sainsbury, Mile Jedinak and Robbie Kruse.

Working with a different combination of personnel, the head coach nailed his selection and tactics, employing a 4-4-2 diamond for the first time in his national team tenure.

With Mark Milligan providing stability and security in front of the back four, Aaron Mooy and Massimo Luongo were deployed further forward, where they put their energy and technique to good effect.

The star turn, if it can be called such against the lowly Bengal Tigers, came from Tom Rogic, fit at last and recalled to the Socceroos starting XI for the first time since a 4-3 friendly loss to Ecuador in March 2014.

The Celtic man operated as the most advanced midfielder and was rewarded for his endeavours with two goals.

Tom Rogic netted inside 10 minutes as Australia proved too strong for Bangladesh.

Moving away from his usual preference for a three-man frontline, Postecoglou rested Tim Cahill and picked Mathew Leckie and Nathan Burns as an old-fashioned centre-forward pairing.

Having a mobile, rotating front line might be preferable against higher-quality opposition, but flooding the midfield and leaving two dedicated strikers to occupy the Bangladesh centre-backs worked a treat on Thursday, with the visitors outclassed and overwhelmed in the opening stages and the match effectively won by the 20-minute mark.

The absence of wide forwards put the onus on the fullbacks to get forward, provide width and supply crosses. Neither man disappointed, with Jason Davidson and Tarek Elrich in particular terrorising their counterparts and having a hand in the first and third goals respectively. 

Sterner tests will doubtless await, starting with a considerably more daunting trip to take on Tajikistan next week. A repeat of the hostile cauldron experienced away to Kyrgyzstan in June is a distinct possibility, but at least Australia will run the gauntlet in Central Asia armed with confidence from a convincing triumph.