A first international hat-trick in 11 years for Tim Cahill helped Australia to a 4-0 World Cup qualifying win over Bangladesh on Tuesday.
Cahill’s early header set Ange Postecoglu’s side on their way before the former Everton forward battled to turn home a second and put the visitors in control.
The 35-year-old clinched his first Australia treble since a 6-1 win over Fiji in June 2004 when he turned in the impressive Aaron Mooy’s pass before captain Mile Jedinak made it four before the break.
The Socceroos eased off for the majority of the second half but were rarely troubled by Bangladesh as they cruised to a win which takes them above Jordan in Group B prior to their meeting with Kyrgyzstan.
Australia waited just six minutes to open the scoring, as Cahill rose above a static Bangladesh defence to head Mooy’s free-kick down and through the legs of Sahidul Alam.
The Socceroos were camped in the home side’s half in the opening stages and a brilliant turn from Mooy almost led to a second before the ball was ultimately hacked clear.
The home fans roared their approval as Bangladesh began to press forward in attack but Australia doubled their advantage on 32 minutes to take control of the game.
Cahill just failed to connect properly with another clipped cross from Josh Risdon but he reacted well to shrug off the attention of the defenders and hook the ball past Alam from close range.
And the Socceroos’ leading scorer completed his hat-trick less than five minutes later, turning home from point-blank range after another fine run and cut-back from Mooy.
Mooy’s deliveries were causing chaos for the hosts and another flighted free-kick was headed back across goal by Bailey Wright to allow Jedinak to nod into an unguarded net just before the break.
Bangladesh looked brighter in the second half as Australia eased off the gas, but James Troisi wasted the next best opportunity as he curled a free-kick 20 yards out high over the bar.
Jedinak’s attempted overhead kick was well saved by Alam but Australia comfortably saw out the final few minutes for their fifth victory in round two of qualifying.
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