Hibs pair Martin Boyle and Jackson Irvine rested as Australia ease to World Cup win against Chinese Taipei
The duo combined in the Socceroos’ 3-0 win against Kuwait last Thursday with Irvine netting the rebound after Boyle had seen a penalty saved by Sulaiman Abdulghafoor but both were rested as manager Graham Arnold made wholesale changes for the match against Group B’s basement side on Monday evening.
Arnold selected an entirely new starting line-up, meaning former Hibs striker Jamie Maclaren lined up in attack alongside Mitch Duke in a 4-4-2.
Harry Souttar, brother of Hearts defender John, started in central defence alongside Trent Sainsbury with former Dundee United loanee Curtis Good at left-back.
At 6ft 6in former Dundee United youngster Souttar is an imposing figure at set-pieces and he opened the scoring after 11 minutes, heading home from Riley McGree's corner for his fifth goal in just three international games.
Maclaren then doubled the Socceroos’ advantage by winning a penalty after a surging run into the box and converting the spot-kick himself.
Souttar then crashed another effort off the crossbar before Sainsbury made it three before the break.
Duke then scored seconds after the restart to make it four and although Chinese Taipei reduced the deficit just after the hour mark through Gao Wei-Jie, Duke netted his second and Australia’s fifth with five minutes remaining.
The Socceroos are next ina ction against Nepal on Friday and Jordan next Tuesday, June 15, and Boyle and Irvine could both be involved in one or both of those fixtures.
Elsewhere, Alex Gogic’s Cyprus were beaten 4-0 by Ukraine, with the Hibs midfielder making an appearance as a 78th minute substitute to win his seventh cap.
Nikos Kostenoglou’s side were reduced to ten men shortly before half-time with Andreas Panayiotou given his marching orders. Andriy Yarmolenko and Oleksandr Zinchenko then both scored penalties to give Andriy Shevchenko’s side a two-goal cushion at the break.
Roman Yaremchuk made it three for the hosts on 59 minutes and Yarmolenko added his second and Ukraine’s fourth on 65 minutes.
Cyprus are next in action in September when they travel to Malta before hosting Russia in World Cup qualifying.