Tim Cahill made his farewell appearance for Australia in the 3-0 win over Lebanon as a number of the Socceroos’ next generation staked their claim.
Most notable among them was Scottish-born winger Martin Boyle, who netted a first-half brace before setting up substitute Mathew Leckie to score after the interval.
It was the 25-year-old’s second appearance for Australia and first from the start, while Graham Arnold also handed full debuts for Awer Mabil and Mustafa Amini and gave a maiden cap to defender Rhyan Grant.
“It was very enjoyable. I’m always busy, trying to get on the ball all the time,” Boyle told Fox Sports.
“The team were perfect and luckily I was there to score the goals.
“The boys have been brilliant with me, they’ve all welcomed me and it’s easy for me to fit in. If you put performances in like that, you’re going to fit in easily!”
Martin Boyle scores his first goal for Australia!
— Caltex Socceroos (@Socceroos) November 20, 2018
Amini, who plays his football for AGF in the Danish Superliga, revelled in a Sydney homecoming.
“It’s probably the best feeling of my career. I’m in Sydney, where I’m from. To win 3-0 and finish off the career of a legend in Tim Cahill is brilliant,” he said.
“The boss gives us the instructions, you can see what he’s done in the A-League. I’m very delighted to have my first start with my family here.”
The similarly Danish-based Mabil – a wide attacker for Midtjylland – had already enjoyed a pair of substitute cameos, scoring on his first appearance against Kuwait last month.
“It’s been special for the team and for Timmy. To get my first start for the country is an amazing feeling,” he said, following Amini in speaking to Fox Sports.
“It’s a new philosophy that we’re building. You can see that the combination play is getting there step by step.”
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