The Socceroos duo breathing life into Australia's attack

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Two young guns have been shining lights for the green and gold

The only nation not to score from open play at the 2018 World Cup, Australia's attacking woes have been impossible to miss over the past 12 months.

While the focus has been on trying to replace Tim Cahill, a lack of output across the final third has been the real crux of the issue and Graham Arnold has seemingly found an answer to it in the form of two young attackers.

Awer Mabil and Chris Ikonomidis had just a handful of caps for the Socceroos between them leading into the Asian Cup but have quickly shown they're set to earn plenty more in years to come.

Both arrived in the UAE on the back of strong club form and it didn't take long for it to show with the duo striking within 10 minutes of each other in a 5-0 win over Oman in build-up to the tournament.

In Australia's disappointing Asian Cup opener against Jordan, Ikonomidis proved to be a shining light off the bench attempting more shots than any other player during his brief 35-minute cameo that almost saw him bag a late equaliser.

Mabil started that game and did his best to inspire the Socceroos attack creating two chances, attempting the most crosses and boasting a passing accuracy of 90 percent in the final third.

As the green and gold looked to bounce back against Palestine, Ikonomidis was handed a start and almost made it count straight away as he set up Jamie Maclaren for what should have been a routine finish. 

In the 20th minute, Mabil would do what Maclaren couldn't early on as he finished first-time after being picked out by Ikonomidis at the back post.

Ikonomidis would end the game with another assist at the death and create six chances in total as he cemented his spot in Australia's starting side. 

In the Socceroos final group game against Syria, the deadly duo would combine again in the 40th minute as Ikonomidis found Mabil in space, who curled home a long-range stunner.

With three assists to his name at the tournament, Ikonomidis would finally get his name on the score sheet in the 54th minute as he tapped home a Tom Rogic cross.

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Quick to return the favour, the Perth Glory attacker then picked out Rogic at the top of the box in injury-time as Australia found a late winner.

Having lacked a cutting edge for some time, the Socceroos appear to have finally found some much-needed sharpness in front of goal as two young guns show they're not afraid to pull the trigger.

With Mathew Leckie set to be fit for the knockout stages, good luck telling either Ikonomidis or Mabil they shouldn't be starting in this Socceroos side right now. 

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