SUPER-SUB Tim Cahill has climbed from the bench to deliver Australia a stunning smash-and-grab success over United Arab Emirates in their World Cup qualifier in Abu Dhabi.
Cahill’s second-half volley, his 48th goal for the Socceroos, ensured a 1-0 win and maintains Australia’s winning record in this final qualifying phase.
For more than an hour at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, Australia toiled but looked like coming up short in oppressive conditions. Cahill changed that within four minutes of his arrival, timing his run into the box to volley home Brad Smith’s centimetre-perfect cross.
Postecoglou and the travelling coaching staff embraced despite the sticky weather, delighting at their well-executed plan.
“We only needed him for 20 minutes over these two games and he delivered,” Postecoglou said of Cahil.
Smithy’s put in a great ball. Timmy must have them all on a retainer because it was the best ball of the night. We kept going until the end and got the goal we deserved and justifiably go away with three points.”
Cahill paid tribute to his teammates who endured 90 minutes of pain in draining conditions.
“I scored but it was because of the collective performance ... if you ask me if I think I’m going to score when I go on the pitch, of course I do,” he said.
“Everything the boss asked of us we did. We hung in there.”