MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia’s 3-0 win over lowly Kyrgyzstan put their World Cup plans firmly back on track but Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou felt the score flattered the central Asians.
A first-half penalty to captain Mile Jedinak, a goal to veteran striker Tim Cahill after the break and an own goal by Ildar Amirov amounted to a dominant victory in Canberra.
It was also a stingy return for the numerous scoring chances the home side created.
“Right from the kick-off we were very dominant, which we set out to be,” Postecoglou told reporters.
“I’d prefer we won 10-0, which we should have.
“But when you look at the number of chances we created, the way we played our football, where we played our football, I was very happy.”
The Asian champions’ win was an emphatic response to their shock 2-0 loss away to Jordan last month and came after forward Mathew Leckie and regular defender Matthew Spiranovic were sidelined late due to injury.
Postecoglou was pleased with his reserves, including Bradford City’s James Meredith, who performed solidly on debut at left back.
Melbourne City midfielder Aaron Mooy also continued his impressive rise with a hand in both second half goals. He proved a constant headache in partnership with Massimo Luongo.
“We’ve worked really hard the last 12 to 18 months to create depth and we’re getting it,” said Postecoglou, who cleaned out the Socceroos’ old guard before last year’s World Cup in Brazil.
“Even at the back … guys are stepping in.
“In the past we’d be talking about (Mathew) Leckie missing out or (Robbie) Kruse missing out.
“But we’re getting to a really good space and over the next few months I’ll expect more depth to develop.”
Australia, one point behind Jordan in Asia’s group B, head to Bangladesh to play another qualifier on Tuesday, despite security concerns that have dogged the nation.
Australia’s cricket team scrapped a scheduled tour there last month after an Italian aid worker was shot dead in the capital Dhaka on Sept. 28, an attack claimed by the Islamic State militant group.
The U.S. State Department issued a fresh travel warning on Tuesday saying that “terrorist attacks” could occur against foreigners in Bangladesh.
But Australia’s national soccer governing body said it was satisfied the players’ safety could be guaranteed.
The Socceroos will prepare in Singapore and arrive in Dhaka the day before the match to minimise risk.
“We feel under the current situation this is the best preparation,” Postecoglou said.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing Greg Stutchbury)