Qantas Socceroos crush Ireland

The Qantas Socceroos have recorded a well deserved 3-0 victory over the Republic of Ireland this morning in Limerick, with Everton midfielder Tim Cahill the star with two first half goals.

The Qantas Socceroos have recorded a well deserved 3-0 victory over the Republic of Ireland this morning in Limerick, with Everton midfielder Tim Cahill the star with two first half goals.

Cahill once again showed that he is truly world class, with two quality finishes, while David Carney secured a comprehensive win with a wonderful strike right on the full time whistle.

After a good opening period by Australia, Cahill turned the game in Australia-s favour in the 37th minute, when he shot home from the edge of the box.

Then just before half time, he struck again when he pounced on a parry from Ireland keeper Shay Given to give Australia a 2-0 half time lead.

Ireland, who play an important World Cup qualifier next month against Cyprus, never really looked threatening apart from two chances from Robbie Keane and late chances from Keith Andrews and Sean St. Ledger.

The performance was capped off with a superb goal from Carney, who had time and space and hit a wonderfully swerving drive that rocketed into the top corner.

Verbeek started with a fairly experimental side with the backline very inexperienced as a combination with regular captain Lucas Neill not picked. Ireland though was pretty much at full strength.

But you would never have guessed as Australia dominated for much of the match; looking comfortable on the ball and in attack moving it quickly forward.

Australia started brightly and it was Luke Wilkshire with the first chance but his shot from the edge of the box going wide, while Harry Kewell forced a low save from Shay Given shortly afterwards from a free kick.

Keane had the first chance for Ireland, his glancing header going over the bar in the 13th minute.

Given had to be alert to get down to a Patrick Kisnorbo header after 22 minutes and then a minute later Schwarzer was called into action for the first time, saving a shot from Keane after he did brilliantly to create space for himself in the penalty box.

This started a good period for Ireland as they started to find some rhythm, but they never really tested Schwarzer.

They were made to pay as Australia hit them on the counter-attack through Cahill and Scott McDonald. The pair swept forward from halfway with Cahill initially playing McDonald through, who cut back inside and laid off to Cahill on the edge of the area. He took one touch to his left foot and hit a sweet shot that left Given flat-footed.

Kewell headed over shortly afterwards, but it didn-t matter with Cahill adding a second in the 44th minute.

Rhys Williams did well to nip in and win the ball ahead of McGeady, driving into the box and shooting fiercely at goal. Given blocked Williams shot, but it fell to Cahill and his low shot beat Given.

That was it for Cahill, McDonald and Kisnorbo with Verbeek making his first changes at half time, with a debut for Nikita Rukavytsya, while Adrian Madaschi was given a rare opportunity.

Australia-s other substitute Brett Holman had a good chance to extend that lead after the break, but shot straight at Given from the edge of the area.

Ireland substitute Stephen Hunt then had the chance to claw a goal back, but his shot went across the face of goal, while Keane again turned well in the box, but saw his shot blocked by Carney.

After a long range Kewell effort went wide with 10 minutes to go, the hosts had their best chances to claw a goal back, with first Keith Andrews hitting the post and then Sean St Ledger headed straight at Schwarzer from six yards.

Carney then sealed an emphatic win for Australia with a stunning effort from 30 yards right on full time, his shot hitting the top corner as it flew off past substitute keeper Keiran Woodward.

Match Details

Republic of Ireland 0 Australia 3 (Tim Cahill 37'/44', David Carney 93'+)

Australian line-up: Mark Schwarzer (gk); David Carney, Tim Cahill (Brett Holman h/t), Jade North (Matt Spiranovic 70'), Mile Jedinak (James Holland 88'), Scott McDonald (Nikita Rukavytsya h/t, Luke Wilkshire, Harry Kewell, Patrick Kisnorbo (Adrian Madaschi h/t), Rhys Williams, Mark Bresciano (Nick Carle 78')