Martin Boyle to rescue as Hibs forward seals Australia win over Oman
A second-half strike from Martin Boyle helped Australia to another win in their World Cup qualifying section and maintained the Socceroos’ unbeaten quest for Qatar.
The Hibs winger continued his prolific form for club and country with his 23rd goal this calendar year – having netted 10 for Jack Ross’ side already this season.
He transferred that to the international stage again and restored Australia’s lead in Doha against Oman shortly after half-time following a first half where both sides traded goals.
Boyle’s 49th minute go-ahead goal– a diving header from close range – ensured a third straight win and top place in Group B of the Asian qualification groups. Celtic’s Tom Rogic squared a pass for Adam Taggart and when the forward’s shot was saved, Boyle pounced to head over the line.
Graham Arnold’s side had taken the lead through Awer Mabil only for Rabia Al-Mandhar to level. Mitchell Duke added a confirmation third with a minute to go.
The 28-year-old was substituted on 86 minutes having started the match alongside former Hibs team-mate Jackson Irvine, and Harry Souttar, brother of Hearts defender John. His late withdrawl was a lot less concerning than his last international substitution though which resulted in unfounded fears of an injury affecting the winger after the win over China last month. However he returned to Easter Road showing few ill-effects and scored three more before his latest call-up.
Hibs colleagues Alex Gogic and Kevin Nisbet are also in line for international action with Cyprus facing Croatia in the World Cup qualifiers in Nicosia on Friday and Scotland hosting Israel on Saturday.