WATCH: Subway Socceroos earn a clean sheet win over Bahrain ahead of Asian Cup

The Subway Socceroos earned a 2-0 win over Bahrain in a friendly match at the Baniyas Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night local time.

A second half goal from Mitchell Duke put the Socceroos two up after a Bahrain own goal in the first half opened the scoring.

Gethin Jones became Socceroo #639 as he debuted in the match, meanwhile Sam Silvera was given his first start for his country.

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Inside the first ten minutes neither side were able to create much going forward as Bahrain was content with keeping the Socceroos at bay through their deep lying back four. A theme that would run throughout the match.

The first shot on target for the Socceroos came in the 20th minute when Conor Metcalfe found space on the edge of the box to unleash a shot, but it was easily saved by Ebrahim Luftalla.

Harry Souttar and Cameron Burgess were both playing midfield splitting balls both on the ground and in the air to the forward players and this created problems for the Bahrain defence.

On 30 minutes there was a big chance for Australia after some brilliant build play with Jackson Irvine playing through Silvera on the right wing, his cross found Craig Goodwin in the box, he cut on to his right and missed the target from 10 yards out.

The breakthrough came in the 35th minute when Amine Binaddi turned the ball into his own net after Craig Goodwin whipped in a powerful low cross from the left side. An unfortunate way for Bahrain to concede but reward for the Socceroos early dominance.

Just before half time Duke saw his acrobatic strike from close range bounce over the bar after he and Goodwin forced a turnover in the Bahrain defensive area. The half ended 1-0 to the Socceroos.

The second period began in a similar style with the Socceroos on the front foot but in fairness to Bahrain they were able to string passes together and progress the ball more often.

Duke made it 2-0 on 60 minutes with a close-range header after the ball was headed across from Goodwin to give Duke his twelfth goal for the Socceroos.

The goal encouraged Graham Arnold to make his first changes of the match bringing off Cameron Burgess, Conor Metcalfe, Mitchell Duke and Craig Goodwin for Kye Rowles, Riley McGree, Kusini Yengi and Aziz Behich.

Bahrain fought back with an attack down the left side in the 68th minute and a deflected cross turned shot forced a fantastic save by Joe Gauci in net.

Jones’ debut came to an end in the 78th minute as he was replaced by Nathaniel Atkinson and Marco Tilio entered the fray at the same time to replace Silvera who looked very strong in his first start for Australia.

The final exchanges of the game were largely played in the middle of the park as the Socceroos saw out their two-goal lead to seal the win.

Overall, it was a solid performance for the Subway Socceroos as players were able to get more minutes into the legs ahead of the Asian Cup opener next week.

Bahrain 0
Subway Socceroos 2 (Own goal 35’, Mitchell Duke 61’)
Date: Saturday, 6 January 2024
Venue: Baniyas Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Bahrain: 22. Ebrahim Luftalla, 2. Amine Binaddi, 3. (c) Waleed Alhayyam, 6. Mohamed Alhardan, 7. Ali Madan (Ali Saeed 66’), 10. Komail Alaswad (Ebrahim Alkhatal 66’), 13. Moses Atede (Mohamed Abdulwahab 76’), 14. Abdulla Alhashash (Mohamed Marhoon 55’), 18. Mohamed Adel, 23. Abdulla Alkhalasi (Mohamed Qayoom 76’), 24. Jasim Khalif (Abdulla Yusuf 55’)

Substitutes Not Used: 1. Abdulkarim Fardan, 21. Sayed Mohamed Jaffar, 4. Sayed Mahdi Baqer, 15. Jasim Alshakh, 17. Ahmed Bughamar, 19. Hazza Ali, 20. Mahdi Humaidan, 25. Ibrahim Alwali, 26. Husain Aleker

Yellow Cards: Mohamed Alhardan 90’

Red Cards: Nil

Subway Socceroos: 18. Joe Gauci,25. Gethin Jones (Nathaniel Atkinson 78’), 19. Harry Souttar, 21. Cameron Burgess (Kye Rowles 62’), 5. Jordan Bos, 8. Conor Metcalfe (Riley McGree 62’), 13. Aiden O’Neil, 22. (c) Jackson Irvine, 23. Craig Goodwin (Aziz Behich 62’), 15. Mitchell Duke (Kusini Yengi 62’), 7. Sam Silvera (Marco Tilio 78’)

Substitutes Not Used: 1. Mathew Ryan, 12. Lawrence Thomas, 2. Thomas Deng, 6. Martin Boyle, 9. Bruno Fornaroli, 17. Keanu Baccus, 20. Lewis Miller, 24. Patrick Yazbek, 26. John Iredale

Yellow Cards: Craig Goodwin 63’
Red Cards: Nil


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