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Australia vs Lebanon International Friendly Preview and Team News - Socceroos target big win in Tim Cahill's farewell

Andrew Hendrie 18 Nov 2018
  • Socceroos and Lebanon face off for just the second time on Tuesday in Sydney
  • Tim Cahill is set to feature in his final game for the Socceroos
Socceroos face Lebanon on Tuesday

Fresh from an encouraging performance against South Korea on Saturday, the Socceroos - with Tim Cahill saying farewell - square off against minnows Lebanon at ANZ Stadium on Tuesday night.

In their last hit-out before the 2019 Asian Cup in January, the Socceroos will be searching for more polish and class in front of goal as they target a big win at home against Lebanon on Tuesday night.

Finding a genuine No. 9 who can bang in the goals has been a struggle for the Socceroos since Mark Viduka’s retirement, and while many have stepped up and attempted to fill the role, nobody has really cemented the spot as their own over the years.

Jamie Maclaren was the next in line against South Korea in Brisbane on Saturday night, but the Hibs striker was quiet all night and barely made an impact. He should be given another chance against Lebanon, and he will be determined to get on the scoresheet to prove he’s the man for the job.

The Socceroos created numerous chances against the Koreans, but they were unable to translate that pressure into goals, while their opponents took advantage of their only real clear-cut chance to take the lead midway through the first half. Graham Arnold’s team were lucky to claim a stoppage-time equaliser but deserved a draw on the balance of play, but they need to step up and assert their authority against Lebanon in Sydney.

Martin Boyle and Awer Mabil added pace and explosiveness to the Socceroos side after being brought on as second-half substitutes against South Korea and will each be pressing for starts on Tuesday, especially with Robbie Kruse producing another poor game.

And much like Wayne Rooney’s own farewell for England against USA over the weekend, Australia will have the opportunity to say farewell to arguably the greatest Socceroos of all time, with Cahill officially retiring from international football after this encounter.

Currently ranked No. 82 in the FIFA World Rankings, Lebanon are also preparing for January’s Asian Cup, with the team pitted against the likes of North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Lebanon have played quite a bit of football over the last few months, beating Jordan 1-0 in an eye-catching result, but they failed to win their other three matches, drawing 0-0 with Oman and Uzbekistan in-between a 1-0 defeat to Kuwait. It’s clear the team struggles in front of goal, and going up against the added class of the Socceroos will only make things tougher for the Lebanese front third on Tuesday.

The two nations have only played once before, with Australia prevailing 3-0 in a friendly back in 2012 in Lebanon, with Cahill scoring the first goal. It would be an enormous surprise if anything other than a Socceroos victory eventuated in Sydney, and I expect the Socceroos to farewell Cahill in style - and don’t be surprised if the greatest goalscorer in Socceroos history pops up for a late header!

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Australia vs Lebanon International Friendly Preview and Team News - Socceroos target big win in Tim Cahill's farewell

Fresh from an encouraging performance against South Korea on Saturday, the Socceroos - with Tim Cahill saying farewell - square off against minnows Lebanon at ANZ Stadium on Tuesday night.

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