29.03.2016 13:12 h

Cahill double for Kruse control Socceroos over Jordan

Tim Cahill scored a double and Robbie Kruse provided three goal assists as Australia trounced Jordan 5-1 to finish top of their 2018 World Cup Asia qualifying group on Tuesday.

The 36-year-old veteran scored twice in the first half as the Socceroos broke down the Harry Redknapp-coached Jordanians to win convincingly.

The win in Group B means they enter the third and final phase of Asian qualifying for the tournament in Russia.

Hangzhou-based Cahill has now scored 47 goals in 89 internationals for Australia, the current Asian Cup champions, and 22 goals in 27 World Cup qualifiers for them.

While Cahill again topped Australia's goalscorers, it was Germany-based Kruse who got a rousing ovation when he was subbed late in the second half after providing the final ball for three of the goals.

Australia's other goalscorers were home-based midfielder Aaron Mooy, Glasgow Celtic's Tom Rogic and QPR youngster Massimo Luongo.

"It's been two strong performances (including Tajikistan) and I think people are starting to appreciate the way the boys are playing now and the belief they have in what we're doing," said coach Ange Postecoglou.

"Jordan was a dangerous opponent, they had everything to play for, yet there was never going to be anyone but us winning on the night."

Former West Ham, Tottenham and QPR manager Redknapp, who was hired by Jordan's Prince Ali to help his country's World Cup qualifying bid, said: "They were a different class to us, they were a much better and stronger team than we were.

"So it was difficult, they had a bit too much quality and they looked a lot fitter than us, they were sharper... there was a big gulf in class tonight."

The Socceroos needed patience to prise open the combative Jordanians, but once the home side scored their opener in the 24th minute the visitors broke wide open.

Bayer Leverkusen's Kruse delivered a pinpoint cross for stand-in skipper and unmarked Cahill to tap into an empty net in the 24th minute.

Kruse was again the provider 15 minutes later when he released midfielder Mooy on the left and Mooy slotted past goalkeeper Amer Shafi for 2-0.

Kruse made his third assist in the opening half with another lovely cross. Cahill met it with his head for his second on the night.

Australia led 3-0 at halftime after Jordan fell away in the second period of the first half, giving the visitors an insurmountable task in the final 45 minutes in Sydney.

Rogic ensured there was no way back for Jordan with his third goal in the last two World Cup qualifiers and Australia's fourth in the 53rd minute.

QPR starlet Luongo scored the Socceroos' fifth goal just five minutes after coming on as a substitute.

Yousef Al-Rawashdeh was fortunate not to see a red card when he scythed down Kruse in a vicious tackle which left the Socceroo clasping his left knee on the ground. But Kruse resumed before being subbed by Nathan Burns with 20 minutes left.

Abdallah Deeb scored a consolation goal for Jordan in the final minute of regulation time.