AAP Soccer

Socceroos need to be more clinical: Mabil

By AAP Newswire

Socceroos youngster Awer Mabil wants Australia to develop a more clinical edge in front of goal, starting with next week's away World Cup qualifier in Taiwan.

Australia thrashed Group B minnows Nepal 5-0 in Canberra on Thursday but left GIO Stadium believing they could, and should, have scored many more.

Graham Arnold's men dominated possession and territory as the Nepalese sat back but regularly had their shots blocked or go wide.

It meant despite Jamie Maclaren becoming the first Socceroo to notch a hat-trick since Mile Jedinak's in 2017 against Honduras, there was a sense of frustration among the Australians.

Mabil, who came on as a second-half substitute, said more difficult opponents on the road to Qatar won't be as generous as world No.161 Nepal.

"Against stronger teams you'll probably only get one or two chances," Mabil said.

"We need to take them ... you could see Jamie tonight was clinical with his chances, we just have to continue that.

"We know it's only going to get harder and harder but we just need to continue to score goals when we get our chances."

Since taking over as national coach following last year's World Cup in Russia, Arnold has watched his team score three or more goals in six matches.

Their inability to break down organised defences however proved costly in January's Asian Cup, needing penalties to overcome Uzbekistan before drawing another blank in a disappointing 1-0 quarter-final defeat to the UAE.

Maclaren's treble was the highlight of Thursday's display however and the Melbourne City marksman said after having scored just once in his previous 13 international appearances, it was a breakthrough for him.

"At this level I've always kind of pressured myself, I've always looked in the mirror and said, 'Am I good enough at this level?'" Maclaren said.

"It took one of these nights for me to really show I can do it at this level.

"It doesn't matter who the opposition is, international hat-tricks don't come by very often."

The Socceroos were given a boost overnight with their main rivals in the qualifying group Jordan only managing a goalless draw against Kuwait.

It means Australia are top of the group, two points ahead of Kuwait having played a game less.

Arnold has hinted he will make alterations to the squad before departing on Saturday to face bottom-placed Taiwan in Kaohsiung City on Tuesday.