East Asian Cup qualifying preview: Australia v Chinese Taipei
The Socceroos are in the box seat to qualify for South Korea 2013, while Archie Thompson chases Damian Mori's goal-scoring record.
|By MICHAEL HUGUENIN
Marrone, Djulbic, Cornthwaite, Jamieson
Emerton, Rogic, Thompson
M-H Chiang, C-Y Lin, H-T Tsai, C-H Yang
P-L Chen, P-H Wu, H-W Chen, C-H Hsu
C-A Lo, C-E Lo
The Socceroos will enter Sunday's decisive East Asian Cup qualifier versus Chinese Taipei with plenty of confidence after their dominant 9-0 thumping of Guam on Friday.
Heading into Friday's match, Australia looked to have plenty of work to do in order to qualify for next year's East Asian Cup final stage, with goal difference looming as a problem area for Holger Osieck's side.
But after destroying Guam, who are ranked 181 by FIFA, the Socceroos should be able to produce a similar performance against the world's 176th nation, Chinese Taipei, which would put Australia well on the way to winning the qualifying tournament in Hong Kong.
The Socceroos are level on points and goal difference with North Korea but trail the leaders on goals scored.
In the final set of qualifiers on Sunday, North Korea must play the host nation, who Australia could only beat 1-0 earlier this week and Osieck is banking on his side winning by a greater margin to qualify on goal difference.
Osieck gave three players their international debut against Guam as he selected a younger, inexperienced line-up from the Socceroos lacklustre opening two games and the decision paid off.
Dino Djulbic (Guizhou Renhe), Aaron Mooy (Western Sydney Wanderers) and Michael Marrone (Melbourne Heart) all earned their maiden caps with the latter two both scoring.
While Australia should have little trouble against Chinese Taipei, who drew 1-1 with Guam in Hong Kong, Mooy's ability from set pieces could be crucial if the game gets tight and goals are needed.
Mooy scored the opening goal against Guam with a curling free-kick which went in off the underside of the bar and the 22-year-old midfielder could have scored again from a similar situation in the second half.
Chinese Taipei have claimed just one victory from seven matches this year (a 2-0 triumph over Guam in September) and their predominantly home-based squad should pose few problems for Osieck's men.
Head coach Chiang Mu-tsai has just one foreign-based player in Hong Kong with midfielder Chen Po-liang, who plays in China for second-tier club Shenzhen Ruby, having started all three matches at the East Asian Cup qualifying tournament.
Archie Thompson, who has scored four goals in Hong Kong so far, will become Australia's all-time leading goal-scorer if he hits the back of the net twice against Chinese Taipei.
Thompson sits on 28 international goals after his hat-trick against Guam, just one behind Damian Mori.
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Top 3 Predictions
Australia 8-0 Chinese Taipei
- 35.71 %
Australia 0-8 Chinese Taipei
- 28.57 %
Australia 8-8 Chinese Taipei
- 7.14 %
|Asia - EAFF East Asian Cup (EAFF)||09/12/2012||Australia 8 - Chinese Taipei 0|
|06/03/2014||Australia 3 - Ecuador 4||FR|
|19/11/2013||Australia 1 - Costa Rica 0||FR|
|16/10/2013||Canada 0 - Australia 3||FR|
|12/10/2013||France 6 - Australia 0||FR|
|08/09/2013||Brazil 6 - Australia 0||FR|
|3||Mark Daniel Milligan||Defender|
|-||Lu Kun Chi||Goalkeeper|
|-||Ming Han Chiang||Defender|
|-||Huang Wei Min|
|-||Wei Pei Lun||Defender|
|-||Chao Hsun Yang|
|-||Hao Wei Chen|
|-||Hsu Che Hao|
|-||Wen Chih Hao|
|-||Po Hao Chen|
|-||Chih An Lo|
|-||Chih En Lo|
|-||Wei Chih Pan|
|-||Chen Yi Hung|
|-||Hsien Tang Tsai|
|-||Cheng Yi Lin||Defender|
|-||Po Liang Chen|
|-||Pai Ho Wu|
|-||Che Yuan Chan||Midfielder|
|-||He Ming Chan||Striker|