Taggart cherishes ‘massive win’ after executing game plan against Jordan
Goal-scoring hero Adam Taggart said the Caltex Socceroos executed their game plan to perfection in their 1-0 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying win over Jordan on Friday [AEDT].
Taggart scored after just 12 minutes in Amman, getting on the end of Jackson Irvine’s incisive pass before lifting the ball over the keeper with a classy finish.
It was the striker’s third goal in his last two internationals and was the first goal Jordan had conceded in the last 282 minutes of football.
While Taggart’s finish was sublime, Irvine deserves plenty of credit for his assist, meaning he has now been directly involved in six goals for Australia (two goals and four assists) in 2019, more than any other player.
Reflecting on his goal, Taggart told socceroos.com.au: “We worked on that situation in training a few times to make sure that forward run was on.
“Jacko [Irvine] played an unbelievable ball and the keeper was rushing out.
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“We knew the keeper goes down early so I just tried to lift it over him a little bit and thankfully we went up 1-0 early.
“It was a massive win for us. It’s been a tough place to come for us for a long time and it was tonight as well. Jordan put in a good shift it was just important we grinded out a good result.
“These places are tough to come so massive result for us, a lot of the things we worked on the training ground pulled off for us.”
The win means the Caltex Socceroos have a 100% record after four games, joining Syria and Japan as the only nation with maximum points at this stage of qualifying.
At the halfway point of the group stage, Australia have opened up a five-point lead at the top of the standings, with their next matches not until March with games against Nepal and Kuwait.
“We’ve had a great few months together. A lot of camps, a lot of quality time and some quality performances,” Taggart said.
“We need to keep building on that and look to improve again next year but it’s fantastic to end  on a high.
“I’m really enjoying my time here under Arnie with a lot of close mates. Over the moon we’ve got three points again, another team performance and it means a lot to us to come to a tough place like this and get a good result.”
The match also saw Martin Boyle play his first competitive game for the Caltex Socceroos, coming off the bench for the last 18 minutes in his first international of 2019.
The Hibernian winger helped relieve some pressure with his hold-up play and willingness to go forward as Jordan pushed for an equaliser in the closing stages.
“It’s a massive result for us. It puts us way at the top where we want to be,” Doyle said.
“It’s a tough place to come here but we more than matched them. They had a few chances at the end but Maty [Ryan] was on top form and our defence was strong.
“I think we played well. We had chances the first half but teams at home always have spells and that’s what [Jordan] did.
“We were under a bit of pressure, Arnie had to change it up and he did, we held on at the end but any team will come here and struggle.”