Last time Caltex Socceroos played Tajikistan

Dushanbe was the exotic Central Asian location for the Caltex Socceroos' last clash with Tajikstan in September. And that wasn't the only exotic element to this World Cup qualifier.

The surface  at the Republican Central Stadium in the Tajik capital was artificial  - not something you see often in international football. And the venue was heaving with almost 20,000 fans in patriotic mood on the eve of their national day. 

It all pointed to another tricky night for the Green and Gold. 

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The pitch certainly played a part in a first half which saw the home side match it with Ange Postecoglou's Asian champions, who'd arrived on the back of a 5-0 win over Bangladesh in Perth just days earlier. 

Pitch aside, the Aussies pulled off a professional and ruthless 3-0 win, storming home in the second stanza with three goals, but not before the plucky Tajiks made Ange's men work for it. 

Mark Milligan celebrates scoring the opening goal with Mat Leckie.

Patience was the message from Postecoglou before the game, knowing the relentless Aussie pressing would eventually tell - and that was exactly how it transpired. 

Ryan McGowan, Cahill and Matt McKay came in for Tarek Elrich, Tom Rogic and Nathan Burns who'd all started against Bangladesh. And Aaron Mooy again started showing why he's now so highly rated in the national team. 

But it was Baniyas midfielder Mark Milligan who poked home a scrappy opener ten minutes after the break as the home side began to fatigue. 

And Tim Cahill finished Tajikistan off with two late goals. 

Tim Cahill netted Australia's second goal against Tajikistan.

His first, a clever poacher's goal to beat Tajik keeper Dodov with McGowan providing the assist. 

And his third right on full time to confirm the three points was a trademark header thanks to Tommy Oar's neat delivery. 

The Aussies were now eight games unbeaten.