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Taggart overjoyed as Australia stay perfect


Amman: Goal-scoring hero Adam Taggart said Australia executed their game plan to perfection in their 1-0 Asian Qualifiers win over Jordan on Thursday.

Taggart scored after just 12 minutes in Amman, getting on the end of Jackson Irvine’s incisive pass before lifting the ball over the keeper with a classy finish.

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It was the striker’s third goal in his last two internationals and was the first goal Jordan had conceded in the last 282 minutes of football.

While Taggart’s finish was sublime, Irvine deserves plenty of credit for his assist, meaning he has now been directly involved in six goals for Australia (two goals and four assists) in 2019, more than any other player.

Reflecting on his goal, Taggart told socceroos.com.au: “We worked on that situation in training a few times to make sure that forward run was on.

“Jacko [Irvine] played an unbelievable ball and the keeper was rushing out.

“We knew the keeper goes down early so I just tried to lift it over him a little bit and thankfully we went up 1-0 early.

“It was a massive win for us. It’s been a tough place to come for us for a long time and it was tonight as well. Jordan put in a good shift it was just important we grinded out a good result."

The win means the Socceroos have a 100% record after four games, joining Syria and Japan as the only nation with maximum points at this stage of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

At the halfway point of the group stage, Australia have opened up a five-point lead at the top of the standings, with their next matches not until March with games against Nepal and Kuwait.

“We’ve had a great few months together. A lot of camps, a lot of quality time and some quality performances,” Taggart said.

“We need to keep building on that and look to improve again next year but it’s fantastic to end [2019] on a high.

“I’m really enjoying my time here under Arnie with a lot of close mates. Over the moon we’ve got three points again, another team performance and it means a lot to us to come to a tough place like this and get a good result.”

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