Tim Cahill scored a double and Robbie Kruse provided three assists as Australia trounced Jordan 5-1 to finish top of their 2018 World Cup Asia qualifying group in Sydney on Tuesday.
The 36-year-old veteran scored twice in the first half as the Socceroos broke down the Harry Redknapp-coached Jordanians to win convincingly and take Group B to qualify for the third and final phase of Asian qualifying for Russia 2018.
Hangzhou-based Cahill has now scored 47 goals in 89 internationals for the Asian Cup champions and 22 in 27 World Cup qualifiers.
While Cahill again topped Australia’s goalscorers it was Germany-based Kruse who got a rousing ovation when he was subbed last in the second half after providing the final ball for three of the goals.
Australia’s other goalscorers were home-based midfielder Aaron Mooy, Celtic’s Tom Rogic and Queens Park Rangers youngster Massimo Luongo.
The Socceroos needed patience to break down the combative Jordanians but once the home side scored their opener in the 24th minute the visitors broke wide open.
Bayer Leverkusen’s Kruse delivered a pinpoint cross for stand-in skipper and unmarked Cahill to tap into an empty net in the 24th minute.
Kruse was again the provider 15 minutes later when he released midfielder Mooy on the left and he beat goalkeeper Amer Shafi for 2-0.
Kruse made his third assist on the opening half with another lovely cross for Cahill to meet it with his head for his second on the night.
Australia led 3-0 at half-time with Jordan falling away in the second period of the first half to give them an insurmountable task in the final 45 minutes.
Rogic ensured there was no way back for Jordan with his third goal in the last two World Cup qualifiers and Australia’s fourth in the 53rd minutes.
QPR starlet Luongo scored the Socceroos fifth goal just five minutes after coming on as substitute.
Yousef Al Rawashdeh was fortunate not to see red when he scythed down Kruse in a vicious tackle which left the Socceroo clasping his ankle on the ground but Kruse resumed before being subbed by Nathan Burns with 20 minutes left.
Abdallah Deeb scored a consolation goal for Jordan in the final minute of regulation time.
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