Five-star Caltex Socceroos cruise to crushing win in AFC Asian Cup warm-up
The Caltex Socceroos will take confidence and fine scoring form into the AFC Asian Cup after outclassing Oman 5-0 in their final pre-tournament friendly.
Chris Ikonomidis and Milos Degenek opened their international accounts while Andrew Nabbout, Awer Mabil and substitute Jackson Irvine were also on target as the Asian champions issued a statement of intent in Dubai.
Three goals in the opening 24 minutes gave a porous Oman little hope of avoiding a first defeat in 15 matches and set Graham Arnold's men on the right course ahead of next Sunday's Group B opener against Jordan.
Australia's onslaught began when Nabbout - starting as a centre-forward - punished Saad Suhail for miscontrolling a high ball with his chest in the 10th minute.
Another close-range finish followed four minutes later, Perth Glory star Ikonomidis continuing his excellent club form with a clinical left-footed finish following tidy lead-up play from Mustafa Amini and winger Mabil.
The latter turned scorer midway through the one-sided first half, giving the Caltex Socceroos a commanding three-goal cushion before the break by tapping home Aziz Behich's measured low cross from the left.
Oman were more competitive after the interval but had no answer to defender Degenek's cute flicked finish from Ikonomidis' corner in the 58th minute.
Arnold introduced the likes of Jamie Maclaren and Martin Boyle as the second half wore on but it was Irvine, twice on target for Hull City in his most recent club appearance, who rounded out the rout with a rasping volley in the 89th minute.
The Caltex Socceroos will now centre their full focus on translating an eye-catching display into AFC Asian Cup results as the countdown to next Sunday's clash ramps up.
Re-live the entertainment in our live matchday blog below!
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