Duke targets ‘maximum points’ from remaining qualifiers 

Socceroos striker Mitchell Duke has emphasised that Australia must focus on securing maximum points from the four remaining FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualifiers. 

Duke's powerful first-half header looked to have the Socceroos on course for a crucial three points against China on Wednesday morning (AEDT) before the Socceroos were undone by conceding a penalty with 20 minutes to go.

WATCH: Duke nods Australia into the lead

While the Fagiano Okayama striker was excited to score his seventh international goal, Duke could not hide his disappointment after the match. 

“It's always special (scoring) but frustrating,” Duke said post-match. 

“It’s one of my strengths - getting on the end of crosses and using my head. I was lucky enough to have a great cross from Boyley, but it wasn't enough to secure the three points. 

"It's frustrating when you go 1-0 up, concede and finish with a draw. It was an important game that we needed all three points and it's very frustrating to go away with just one.

We have got to brush this off and make sure we focus on the remaining four games so we can finish on maximum points. 

“Out of the remaining games, I feel confident that we can get the job done.”

The draw leaves Australia five points behind Saudi Arabia, and one behind Japan, who the Socceroos both face in March next year. 

While the Green and Gold have slipped to third place in the group, qualification for a fifth consecutive World Cup is still in their hands. 

Ladder after 6 games
The Group B standings after the latest round of matches

The side next hosts Vietnam in late January and according to Duke, the break will give players the opportunity to find form ahead of the final qualification matches. 

“You need match minutes and you need good form going into these games because it's important to help the team,” Duke explained. 

“There's a lot of players that are in and out of clubs or their season hasn't started yet.

“With the A-League starting soon, a lot of the boys can hopefully get some form, get some minutes and bring that into the national team to help us finish strong in this campaign.”

MORE: What's next for the Socceroos?

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