As attention turns to October's vital AFC Asian Qualifiers against Oman and Japan, we shed light on the key statistics and standout performers behind our perfect record so far.
The Socceroos flew through the September qualifying matches against China and Vietnam, with the two victories seeing Australia become the only nation in the Asian Football Confederation to win ten FIFA World Cup qualifying matches in succession.
While a small sample size with only a couple of games played in September, we shed the light on the key statistics behind the wins over the Green and Gold’s rivals.
The Socceroos’ attacking vigour was key in their two consecutive victories, with Graham Arnold deploying a front foot, attacking brand of football.
Awer Mabil featured heavily throughout - no player created more scoring chances (5) or logged more shots on target (5) in Asian World Cup Qualifiers in September 2021 than the FC Midtjylland winger.
Tom Rogic, flying high in the Scottish Premier League under compatriot Ange Postecoglou, was also soaring within his usual creativity levels and created four chances along with five other players across the competition.
Ajdin Hrustic, who has featured frequently for Frankfurt throughout the Bundesliga, was another left-footed midfielder who impressed and seemed to strike up a good relationship with Trent Sainsbury off set pieces - no player created more scoring chances for a teammate at the qualifiers in September than Hrustic for Sainsbury (3).
The duo also featured as the players with the first and second most carries (a player moving at least five meters with the ball) - Sainsbury with 50 and Hrustic with 49.
Furthermore, Harry Souttar was in eighth place on the list (26), showing the comfort both central defenders pose on the ball, and how Arnold likes to compress the pitch to play an intense brand of football.
No national team other than the Green and Gold had three players or more in the top ten for carries, while Ajdin Hrustic’s average carry distance of 11.5 metres can only be bettered by Salem Al-Dawsari of Saudi Arabia (11.8m) and Kim Min-Jae of Korea Republic (11.9m)
Souttar and Sainsbury’s levels of technical ability are furthered shown through other passing statistics.
The Australian defensive duo made 80 passes to one another at the Asian World Cup qualifiers in September, more than any other two players in the tournament.
In second place was Sainsbury and midfielder Jackson Irvine, who made 64 passes between each other, showing the quick ball movement and recycling through the back two and midfield, as the Socceroos looked to unlock the defences of China and Vietnam.
The Socceroos will next feature against Oman and Japan on the 7th and 12th of October respectively, as they look to build on their ten consecutive wins in FIFA World Cup qualifying by becoming the first ever nation to win 11-straight matches in a single qualifying campaign.