Socceroos scrap out 2-0 qualifying win over Bangladesh

The Socceroos' hopes of a goal-scoring blitz of Bangladesh have fallen flat, with Graham Arnold's charges instead scrapping out a frustrating 2-0 win in their World Cup qualifier in Dhaka.

In hot, humid conditions on a shabby, waterlogged pitch at the Bashundhara Kings Arena, debutant Nestory Irankunda was handed a shock start by Arnold in an attacking starting line-up.

The physical, dour game against world No. 184 Bangladesh was effectively a dead rubber given Australia have already progressed to the next round of qualifying, while they claimed top spot in Group I with Thursday's win.

Kusini Yengi of Australia (R) celebrates scoring his side's second goal against Bangladesh.
Kusini Yengi of Australia (R) celebrates scoring his side's second goal against Bangladesh.
Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images

But the Socceroos clearly would have wanted more goals than Ajdin Hrustic's deflected long-range strike in the 29th minute and Kusini Yengi's header in the 62nd.

Hrustic also hobbled off after consecutive physical challenges shortly after halftime.

Australia's performance was marred by poor crosses and finishing, in difficult conditions - but Jordy Bos was superb.

The roaming left-back worked tirelessly and was Australia's main creative outlet.

Irankunda, the 18-year-old sensation, who is bound for Bayern Munich, had been widely expected to come off the bench in his first senior appearance.

Instead, he started on the right wing as strikers Yengi and Mitch Duke started together up top and Hrustic played attacking midfield.

The Socceroos dominated possession as Bangladesh sat deep - but recorded just four shots on target from 15 attempts.

Irankunda scuffed a strike wide in the 17th minute.

Shortly after, Duke was hacked down close to goal but his pleas for a penalty fell on deaf ears, while the striker fluffed a header in the 27th minute.

Australia finally broke through when Irankunda found Hrustic, whose long-range strike took a cruel deflection into the back of the net.

Bangladesh managed a shot through Rakib Hossain in the 33rd minute - though it was so far off target it literally ended up in the car park.

Bos couldn't believe he hadn't been awarded a penalty when he was sandwiched by three Bangladesh defenders in the 39th.

Four minutes later, Duke again failed to properly connect with a header.

Irankunda provided a glimpse of his precocious talents in the 58th minute when he beat a defender and danced into the area.

Four minutes later, Bos floated in a wonderful ball that a leaping Yengi superbly nodded home.

Daniel Arzani replaced Irankunda in the 64th minute, his first cap since the 2018 World Cup, and showed exciting flashes, albeit without reward as the game petered out.

The Socceroos will head straight to Perth for Tuesday night's final qualifier against Palestine.