Ange era kicks off with win over Ticos

THE NEW era of the Socceroos under Ange Postecoglou kicked off with a Tim Cahill-inspired victory against Costa Rica at Allianz Stadium in Sydney tonight.

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Ange Postecoglou rang the changes in his starting XI with Mathew Leckie, Rhys WIlliams, Maty Ryan, Ivan Franjic and Dario Vidosic all taking to the field for kick off.

Left on the bench were veteran regulars Cahill and Josh Kennedy, with Ryan prefered over Mitch Langerak between the sticks, and Davidson at leftback over Michael Zullo.

Tommy Oar was also left to cool his heels on the sidelines along with Matt McKay and James Holland.

But it wasn't until Ange turned to his subs before they managed to break the deadlock.

Cahill came off the bench to give the Socceroos the lead in the 69th minute when he got on the end of a high swerving corner from Tommy Oar and got a lucky ricochet off a Tico defender to beat the wrong-footed keeper.

Jason Davidson returned to the starting XI at leftback but came close to scoring another own goal - a year after one in his debut game against Scotland - with a looping header over onrushing keeper Mat Ryan before it was recovered on the line.

The Socceroos quickly settled into some sharp passing and an attacking menace with Kruse a constant danger in attack.

But they were unable to convert the dominance into points on the board and allowed Costa Rica to gradually edge their way back into the game.

Davidson was again in the thick of the action when he clashed with Mathew Leckie as the two battled for the ball with a Tico midfielder, leaving Leckie writhing in agony on the field.

Leckie recovered and just moments later was threw on goal after Milligan fed Kruse who sent a perfect ball into the six yard box where Leckie was running in.

With an open goal infront of him, the former Adelaide United flyer was unable to make a proper connection and the ball skyed past the goal.

In the second half Mile Jedinak made a powerful run on goal and unleashed a shot which narrowly went past the post.

Just as the visitors were gaining confidence, a flurry of substitutions gave the Socceroos renewed impetus.

Tom Rogic showed nifty footwork and pace to run at the Tico defence which needed a crunching tackle from behind to stop him in his tracks, earning the Roos a freekick in a threatening position on the edge of the box.

The resulting corner from Oar looped high and fast into the box, finding target Timmy at the back whose powerful header rebounded off a nearby defender and into the net.

With a goal on the scoreboard the Socceroos relaxed and looked a more potent threat with Ange using all his bench to light up the match.

A superb pass from Tom Rogic found Kennedy in space and in a footrace with a Costa Rican defender as a goal looked almost certain - but a phenomenal sliding tackle from the Costa Rican denied Kennedy artfully.

Rogic came in for some heavy treatment from the Tico backline after he was quickly identified as a major threat simply offered up set piece opportunities for the Socceroos but they were unable to capitalise.

With Postecoglou encouraging his troops to push on right up until the final whistle, the Socceroos were a constant danger to the Costa Ricans - although unable to add to their tally.

Australia 1 (Cahill 69)
Costa Rica 0
Crowd: 20,165

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