SPORTS DESK : 16 NOVEMBER, 2023, 11:27 PM
Bangladesh suffered a massive 0-7 goal defeat to Australia in their away match of FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier held at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Thursday.
Bangladesh was behind in ball possession and attack than Australia. Bangladesh spent time in their own half throughout the match. Forward Rakib Hossain, however, came forward in front of Australia’s box twice but could not do anything.
Substitute Jamie Maclaren scored hat-trick in the second half as Australia crushed kicked off Asian qualifying for the 2026 World Cup with a massive victory.
Defender Harry Souttar’s opened the net early in the 4th minute with a header to set the tone as the Socceroos took full control throughout the proceeding.
Mitchell Duke added two more and Brandon Borrello was also on target as the hosts raced 4-0 clear at the breather, before substitute Jamie Maclaren’s joined the party in the second half to stump full of domination over Bangladesh.
After the match Maclaren said seven goals, but the goal could have been more, for me too, but three points and we move on.
Australia are also pitted in Group I with Palestine and Lebanon, who meet in Sharjah later.
The top two from each group go through to the final qualifying round, with Graham Arnold’s Socceroos aiming to be among them as they eye a sixth consecutive World Cup.
Ranked 27 in the world to Bangladesh’s 183, the host were always on top dominating possession against Bangladesh who created few opportunities.
Australia needed just four minutes to open their account, with towering Scottish-born Souttar rising unmarked to head home Graig Goodwin’s floating free kick.
An inevitable second followed 16 minutes later, courtesy of winger Borrello, who had an easy tap-in after a low cross from Jordan Bos.
Duke scored twice inside three minutes before the break, the first a deft header and then on the rebound after a Borrello volley clanked the post.
Striker Maclaren scored twice after the resumption to seal the match as the Bangladesh defence was sliced open, and completed his hat-trick with six minutes before the regulation time.
The result could have been 8-0 if but Massimo Luongo would not miss a late penalty.
The day’s thumping victory saw another good night for the veteran coach Arnold, who took charge for a record 59th game, elevating him above Frank Farina as the longest-serving coach in Socceroos history. –BSS
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