The Socceroos completed their preparations for the AFC Asian Cup with a 2-0 friendly win over Bahrain in Abu Dhabi on Sunday morning (AEDT).
A first-half own goal by Amine Benaddi put Australia in the ascendancy at Baniyas Stadium, with Mitchell Duke’s 61st-minute header wrapping up the result as Graham Arnold’s side kept a clean sheet in their final hit-out before the Asian Cup’s commencement on January 13, and a first group stage clash against India.
Debutant Gethin Jones played from the start for Australia, becoming Socceroo #639 in his first international camp, while former Central Coast Mariners star Samuel Silvera made his first Socceroos start in the 2-0 win.
Australia enjoyed 59% of possession but mustered just seven shots on goal to Bahrain’s six in a tightly-contested matchup; Craig Goodwin created the opening goal with a fizzing delivery off the left wing, and played a hand in plenty of the Socceroos’ best attacking play – including the assist for Duke’s sealing goal on the hour mark.
The Socceroos will now look ahead to the start of the Asian Cup group stage, where they will take on India (January 13), Syria (January 18) and Uzbekistan (January 23) in Group B.
Watch the highlights of the Socceroos’ 2-0 win over Bahrain below.