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2018 World Cup Qualifying - AFC, Round Two
  • Mile Jedinak (40' PEN)
  • Tim Cahill (50')
  • Ildar Amirov (69' OG)

Mile Jedinak scores in return from injury as Australia defeat Kyrgyzstan

Captain Mile Jedinak helped Australia get their AFC World Cup qualifying campaign back on track with a first half penalty in his comeback from injury in the 3-0 victory over Kyrgyzstan in Canberra.

The nation's all-time top scorer Tim Cahill grabbed his 42nd international goal just after half-time before a 69th minute own goal from defender Akram Umarov made sure of the result.

The Group B win came after the Socceroos suffered a 2-0 defeat -- their first since lifting January's AFC Asian Cup -- to group leaders Jordan in their previous qualifier in Amman on Oct. 8.

Coach Ange Postecoglou handed Bradford City defender James Meredith his first cap in the place of Jason Davidson at left-back, while Bournemouth goalkeeper Adam Federici was given the nod ahead of Valencia's Mat Ryan.

And, after a dominant opening by the Socceroos with Cahill's shot hitting the bar in the 15th minute, Meredith was lucky not to give a penalty away three minutes later when he appeared to pull the shirt of the tumbling Umarov in the box.

But after more Australia pressure, referee Kim Sang-woo pointed to the spot in the 39th minute after the jinking run of substitute Nathan Burns was met by a clumsy challenge from midfielder Islam Shamshiev.

Jedinak, playing his 60th international, placed his spot kick into the top right hand corner past goalkeeper Pavel Matiash in his first Australia appearance since June. It was his 10th international goal and fourth of 2015.

Shanghai Shenhua forward Cahill then doubled the Socceroos' advantage in the 50th minute after latching onto an Aaron Mooy through ball with a right-footed shot.

And then 19 minutes later, Mooy provided the in-swinging corner from the left that Umarov headed into his own net under pressure from Cahill. The former Everton star had several chances to add to his tally in the second half, only to be denied by the resilient Matiash.

Jedinak was substituted in the 61st minute for Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic, while striker Tomi Juric lasted only 29 minutes before breaking down with a groin injury and was replaced by Burns in front of 19,412 fans in Australia's capital city.

The victory was the Asian champions' fourth in five matches and maintains their second position in Group B ahead of Tuesday's game against minnows Bangladesh in Dhaka.

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