Throwback Thursday: When Caltex Socceroos played Lebanon in 2012

The Caltex Socceroos’ build-up towards their AFC Asian Cup title defence will continue in November when they host Lebanon in Sydney.

Lebanon has also qualified for the 2019 tournament in the UAE, meaning both nations will be keen to put their best foot forward at ANZ Stadium.

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It’s not the first time Australia has played Lebanon, with the two nations playing a friendly in Beirut back in September of 2012.

We’ve taken a look back at that encounter, which was a milestone moment for legendary goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.

Australia takes control early

In a crucial friendly ahead of their FIFA World Cup qualifier in Jordan a few days later, Holger Osieck’s side was keen to get on the front foot early.

The Caltex Socceroos played with energy and cohesion in steamy conditions, scoring twice in the space of three minutes midway through the first half to gain the ascendancy.

First, it was Tim Cahill who scored with a powerful finish, getting on the end of Luke Wilkshire’s cross to put Australia in front on 20 minutes.

Soon after midfielder Matt McKay netted his first international goal, an angled effort on the end of a David Carney centre.

Tim Cahill started the scoring midway through the first half.
Tim Cahill started the scoring midway through the first half.

Finishing the job

With one eye on Jordan, it was perhaps no surprise the Caltex Socceroos took their foot off the gas in the second half.

Osieck made five changes to rest some of his stars, brining on the likes of Adam Sarota, James Holland, Jade North and Archie Thompson.

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And it was the latter that completed the scoring two minutes from the end.

Thompson provided a delicate finish after being played through by Brett Holman – another substitute - to put the gloss on a vastly improved Australian performance.

Archie Thompson completed the scoring late in the match.
Archie Thompson (right) completed the scoring late in the match.

Schwarzer reaches his ton

The match at the Saida Municipal Stadium – which was surrounded by military tanks and armed guards – was also the Caltex Socceroos gloveman’s 100th international cap.

As a tribute to their keeper, Australian players warmed up in shirts emblazoned with ‘Schwarzer 100’ on them.

"I thought it was for his 100th birthday," right-back Wilkshire joked at the time.

"It's a remarkable achievement for Mark. He's been great on and off the field. My hat goes off to him. It's a marvellous achievement."

The Caltex Socceroos honour Schwarzer with these special shirts.
The Caltex Socceroos honour Schwarzer with these special shirts.
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This article was originally published on the Caltex Socceroos website.
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