Socceroos hit Bangladesh for seven to begin FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifying campaign
The Subway Socceroos turned on the style to get their 2026 World Cup Qualifying campaign underway on Thursday night with a confident 7-0 win against Bangladesh at AAMI Park.
A Mitchell Duke brace alongside goals to Harry Souttar and Brandon Borrello had the side 4-0 up at halftime.
Jamie Maclaren came off the bench to score a hat-trick in the second half to add further gloss to Graham Arnold’s men’s display.
Australia took just four minutes to snatch the lead with Craig Goodwin’s out-swinging free-kick from the left finding Souttar, who guided a header into the top left corner.
The Socceroos remained patient and added a well-worked second 20 minutes in. Some purposeful build-up on the right saw Connor Metcalfe race in behind and slide the ball across to Borrello - the forward steering it into the vacant net.
Borrello should have had a brace seven minutes later when another left-sided curling Goodwin delivery found the Western Sydney Wanderer, but he nodded it straight at Mitul Marma.
The chances kept coming for Australia as Goodwin’s crosses continued to create danger for Bangladesh.
In the 33rd minute, his right-sided corner met Baccus, but the midfielder headed it just over the bar.
Australia had their third four minutes later when Duke converted Metcalfe’s cross from the right with a looping header at the near post that nestled in the far side of the goal.
Duke scored again three minutes after that, rolling the rebound inside the right post following Borrello’s stinging volley that came off the woodwork.
There was another chance for the Socceroos just seconds later as Jackson Irvine’s low effort from the edge of the box was parried around the right post by Marma.
Australia went into the sheds with a commanding 4-0 lead after a blistering first half.
The Socceroos kept up the pressure after halftime, scoring their fifth four minutes into the second period. Jordan Bos firing a low cross from the left to Maclaren, who tapped in from close range.
Maclaren notched another 70 minutes in when Massimo Luongo’s effort was parried into his path by Marma, leaving the striker with a simple task to score.
Lewis Miller had been a threat all night getting forward from right back and finally made it count with six minutes to play.
The fullback drilling it to Maclaren, who scored with another poacher’s finish to make it seven for Australia.
There was also a debut for Kusini Yengi, who became cap number 638 and showed glimpses of his quality.
A marauding run from Aiden O’Neill in the 90th minute saw the substitute chopped down in the box, earning a penalty for Australia.
Massimo Luongo took responsibility but rolled a weak effort that Marma got down low to save.
The Socceroos played out the remaining minutes to round out a well-earned victory in Melbourne.
Subway Socceroos 7 (Harry Souttar 4’, Brandon Borrello 20’, Mitchell Duke 37’ 40’, Jamie Maclaren 49’ 70’ 84’)
Date: Thursday 16 November 2023
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Referee: Akhrol Risqullaev
Assistant Referees: Sanzhar Shoyusupov and Andrey Tsapenko
Fourth Official: Crystal John
Subway Socceroos: 1. Mathew Ryan, 20. Lewis Miller, 19. Harry Souttar, 3. Cameron Burgess, 5. Jordan Bos, 11. Brandon Borrello (10. Kusini Yengi 72'), 22. Jackson Irvine (21. Massimo Luongo 46’), 17. Keanu Baccus (14. Aiden O’Neill 65’), 23. Craig Goodwin (16. Aziz Behich 46’), 8. Connor Metcalfe, 15. Mitchell Duke (9. Jamie Maclaren 46’)
Substitutes Not Used: 12. Joe Gauci, 12. Ashley Maynard-Brewer, 2. Ryan Strain, 4. Kye Rowles, 13. Alessandro Circati, 7. Sam Silvera
Yellow Cards: Keanu Baccus 55’
Red Cards: Nil
Bangladesh: 13. Mitul Marma, 14. Tariq Kazi, 22. Saad Uddin, 12. Bishwanath Ghosh (3. Mohammad Mia 86’), 4. Hasan Murad (2. Shakil Hossain 58’), 5. Mohammad Ridoy, 17. Sohel Rana, 6. Jamal Bhuyan (8. Robiul Hasan 59’), 20. Mojibur Rahman Jony, 10. Rakib Hossain (15. Rafiqul Islam 59’), 11. Foysal Fahim (7. Shekh Morsalin 73’)
Substitutes Not Used: 1. Pappu Hossain, 23. Mehedi Srabon, 18. Isa Faysal, 21. Jabed Ahmed, 9. Sumon Reza, 19. Mohammad Ibrahim
Yellow Cards: Rakib Hossain 14', Saad Uddin 73’
Red Cards: Nil