Irvine pleased with ‘attacking intent’ against Lebanon

Subway Socceroos midfielder Jackson Irvine was pleased with the side's display after a dominant 5-0 victory over Lebanon in Canberra to secure passage through to the third round of AFC qualifiers and lock down an AFC Asian Cup 2027 spot.

Get Tickets - Socceroos v Palestine - HBF Park, Perth - 11 June 2024


Craig Goodwin’s two goals, plus strikes from Kusini Yengi, John Iredale and an own goal gave the Socceroos a maximum of 12 points after four games.

Irvine, who played 90 minutes in both matches this international window, was pleased with how clinical the Socceroos were compared to the 2-0 win last Thursday night.

“It was really satisfying,” Irvine told post-match.

“There was a lot more attacking intent from us and we were a lot more clinical in the final third.

“It was the goal to secure qualification as quickly as possible. We wanted to show a more attacking team, but also keep another clean sheet, which is important.

“I’m delighted for the boys making debuts and scoring debut goals. It's always a special night.

“You could see how happy they were. Even for Rowlesy (Kye Rowles) on Thursday and again tonight, we're so happy for the boys when they get to have these special moments.”

One player who got to experience one of those special moments was Iredale.

The substitute tapped in the fourth with his first touch after 68 minutes before Goodwin bagged his second from close range to cap off an impressive night in front of a record GIO Stadium crowd of 25,023, the largest for a football match in Canberra.

Iredale began to visibly tear up after scoring his goal, showing how much it meant to him to score for the national team.

“Johnny's one of these kids that like everyone else, is just so grateful and appreciative of the opportunity to be here,” Irvine explained.

“He had to bide his time with us the full Asian Cup, same as Yaz (Patrick Yazbek), and not having that opportunity, they've really had to be patient for that moment.

“For him to score his first goal was one moment he will remember forever, I'm sure.”

Iredale plays in Germany’s 2 Bundesliga for Wiesbaden alongside Irvine and Connor Metcalfe’s St Pauli.

Irvine said just being in that environment would have improved his game immensely.

“Playing regular games is important but even just being in that environment can feed development and be so crucial,” Irvine said.

“Sometimes it's not always easy. You have to slug it out in moments, you’re not always going to be out there for 90 minutes every week.

“He's had to be patient for these moments and hopefully, this is a moment for him to kick on.”

With two matches remaining in the second round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualification, the Socceroos are leading Group I with four wins out of four matches, and they have not conceded a single goal yet.

Their upcoming matches in Group I, concluding the second round of qualification, will see them playing away against Bangladesh and hosting Palestine during the June international window.

Get Tickets - Socceroos v Palestine - HBF Park, Perth - 11 June 2024