WATCH: Socceroos make it two wins from two after Syria triumph

Australia have continued their perfect start to the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ with a 1-0 victory over Syria courtesy of a Jackson Irvine finish in the 59th minute.

The win all but secures Australia's progression into the Round of 16, with a result against Uzbekistan determining whether the green and gold finish top of Group B.

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Three changes followed Australia's performance against India, with centre-back Cameron Burgess picked to combat a large and robust Syrian frontline, while Aiden O'Neill was rewarded for a strong showing in the last stanza of Saturday's match. Goal-scoring substitute Jordan Bos was the third to be introduced, with the 21-year-old regaining his position as a left-winger, which saw him score his first international goal.

It was the former defender Bos, that brought the energy early, with Australia's most effective avenue in attack coming from long switches to Bos' left-hand side, with the Westerlo star using his pace to beat the first man, bringing fellow forwards Mitch Duke and Jackson irvine into the game.

Mid-game, wingers Jordan Bos and Martin Boyle switched sides of the field, with Boyle in charge of taking corners from the left hand side, while Bos' runs complementing the passing range of fullback Gethin Jones.


Jackson Irvine almost opened the scoring in the 36th minute, after a brilliantly placed cross from a Martin Boyle corner, which needed the glancing headed assist from Gethin Jones, missed the diving St Pauli midfielder at the back post by inches.

A goalless scoreline at the half followed a breakneck 45 minutes of football, with Australia accruing 68% of the game's possession, yet failing to break through the resilient Syrian backline, despite finding themselves in a number of good positions.

With half and hour to play and the scores yet to be changed, coach Graham Arnold decided to make a triple substitution. Midfielders Keanu Baccus and Riley McGree were introduced in favour of Aiden O'Neill and Connor Metcalfe. Samuel Silvera was the third change, replacing the tireless Jordan Bos on the left wing.

The changes paid dividends, just as they did against India, with Australia opening their account just a minute after shifting the decks. This time it was the inventive run of Martin Boyle, who skipped passed the challenge of two Syrian defenders, before a fortunate deflection fell to the path of Jackson Irvine.

With his back to goal and a defender at his heels, the midfielder managed to swerve the direction of both his body and the ball, stepping away from his marker, before tapping the ball past Ahmad Madania in goal.

Hoping to close out the contest, Melbourne Victory striker Bruno Fornaroli was introduced in the 79th minute for his second tournament appearance, with the 36-year-old tasked with pressuring the Syrian backline as they attempt to keep possession and build toward an equaliser.

Kusini Yengi became the last change for the Subway Socceroos, coming on in the 83rd minute for his Asian Cup debut, with himself and Fornaroli forming a two-man striking partnership.

Having established their dominance late in the contest against India, the green and gold once again took control in the last 10 minutes of this match, with Syria unable to wrangle themselves clear of Australia's midfield.

The victory sees Graham Arnold's men extend their lead at the top of Group B, with six points from a possible six. Up next is perhaps the toughest test of the first round, with a positive result in Tuesday's clash against Uzbekistan being pivotal to progressing as the group's top team.

Syria: 0

Australia: 1 (Jackson Irvine 59')

Date: Thursday 18th January 2024

Venue: Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha, Qatar

Syria: 22. (GK) Ahmad Madania, 24. Abdul Rahman Oues, 2. Aiham Ousou, 13. Thaer Krouma, 3. Moayad Ajan, 25. Mahmoud Al Aswad (Fahad Youssef 65'), 18. Jalil Elías, 4. Ezequiel Ham, 12. Ammar Ramadan, 11. Pablo Sabbag (Omar Khribin 65'), 21. Ibrahim Hesar (Antonio Yakoub 78')

Substitutes Not Used: 1. (GK) Ibrahim Alma, 5. Omar Midani, 14. Mouhammad Anez, 15. Khaled Kourdoghli, 16. Elmar Abraham, 19. Moayad Al Khouli, 23. (GK) Taha Mosa

Yellow Cards: N/A

Red Cards: N/A

Australia: 1. (C) (GK) Maty Ryan, 25. Gethin Jones, 19. Harry Souttar, 21. Cameron Burgess, 16. Aziz Behich, 13. Aiden O'Neill (Keanu Baccus 57'), 22. Jackson Irvine, 8. Connor Metcalfe (Riley McGree 57'), 6. Martin Boyle (Kusini Yengi 83'), 15. Mitch Duke (Bruno Fornaroli 79'), 5. Jordan Bos (Samuel Silvera 57')

Substitutes Not Used: 2. Thomas Deng, 4. Kye Rowles, 10. Kusini Yengi, 11. Marco Tilio, 18. (GK) Joe Gauci, 20. Lewis Miller, 23. Craig Goodwin, 24. Patrick Yazbek

Yellow Cards: (Aiden O'Neill 27', Samuel Silvera 86')

Red Cards: N/A


Australia v Uzbekistan
Tuesday, 23 January 2024
Al Janoub Stadium, Doha
Kick-off: 2:30pm local (10:30pm AEDT)
Broadcast: Network 10 and Paramount+

Every AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 match will be live on Paramount+