WATCH: Socceroos finish strong in qualifier warm-up victory against Jordan

A fresh faced Socceroos side have come from behind to defeat rivals Jordan, with the match minutes crucial, as the side prepares for a do-or-die qualifier against the United Arab Emirates

FIFA World Cup AFC Play-Off fixture details

 

National team coach Graham Arnold intended to use the friendly match as an opportunity to valuable minutes into his squad, with places up for grabs in the upcoming FIFA World Cup AFC Play-Off next week.

The A-League Men's competition was represented heavily against the Jordanians, with defender Kye Rowles making his international debut, with forward Nicholas D'Agostino, joining Melbourne Victory teammate and 2015 Asian Cup hero Jason Davidson, and Adelaide United captain Craig Goodwin.

Reminiscent of the early covid-era which saw the Socceroo's initial qualifiers taken to Qatar, the match was played behind closed doors in a tense start from both sides, as the new look Aussie lineup attempted to find fluidity and combinations in attack.

That effort was halted early, with Jordanian midfielder Mousa Al Tamari finding the back of the net in the 21st minute, with a stunning long range effort flying past the outstretched arm of goalkeeper Mat Ryan.

Holding their nerve late in the first half, the Green and Gold gradually took back control of the contest, with the wing-back combination of Fran Karacic and Jason Davidson, causing havoc for the opposition, who struggled to match the duo's endurance, transitioning quickly from defence to attack.

The equalising goal in the 40th minute came from the efforts of Davidson and compatriot Craig Goodwin, who pushed forward, forcing their marker to concede a free kick just outside the area. The result however, was far worse for Jordan, as a whipped in Goodwin free-kick was met at the back post by Bailey Wright, who rose above the pack to head the ball past the Jordanian goalkeeper.

After half-time the Socceroos grew in confidence, spurred on by the introduction of established internationals from the substitutes bench, including Aziz Behich and Jackson Irvine, who were brought on at half-time, along with recently promoted France-based midfielder Denis Genreau. 

Aaron Mooy almost celebrated his 50th Socceroos cap with a goal, after his free-kick attempt deceived the keeper and the defensive wall, with the midfielder opting to target the narrower far-post, with the effort rattling the post.

However, not long after Mooy's effort, the Socceroos finally got their reward for a strong start to the second-half, scoring the eventual winner in the 68th minute, from the boot of Awer Mabil.

Bailey Wright displayed his aerial dominance once again, rising at the back post to meet Goodwin's corner, with only the acrobatics of keeper Abu Layla denying the defender a brace.

The defection bounced favourably this time, with D'Agostino heading the loose ball forward into the path of Mabil, who with his back to goal, flicked the ball above the last man and into the roof of the net.

The Australians would have been comfortable in sitting back for the last 20 minutes and preserve their result, yet Arnold's team continued to attack, with the desperate efforts from a Jordanian backline, denying the Socceroos a third goal late in the match. 

The result is a confidence booster for the entire squad as all eyes now turn to the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday morning (4am AEST), with the Socceroos just two matches away from securing a historic fifth consecutive FIFA World Cup appearance.