Australia in Kruse control for rout of Jordan

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Robbie Kruse grabbed one goal and laid on two others as Australia thrashed Jordan 4-0 on Tuesday to move a step closer to a third successive World Cup finals appearance.

The Bayer Leverkusen-bound winger set up midfielder Mark Bresciano and striker Tim Cahill in each half before scoring himself in the 76th minute.

Captain Lucas Neill then put the icing on the cake by heading home six minutes from time at Melbourne’s Docklands Stadium.

The win put Australia second in Asia’s Group B qualifying table on 10 points and victory over Iraq in their final match in Sydney next week would seal the second direct berth to Brazil 2014.

Japan are already assured of top spot in the group.

Jordan, on seven points, will need a home victory over third-placed Oman in their final qualifier and for other results to go their way to keep their hopes of a maiden World Cup appearance alive.

Australia, riding a wave of confidence after holding Japan to a draw in Saitama last week, pledged to take the game to the cagey Middle Eastern side and were as good as their word as they peppered the Jordan goal from start to finish.

Goalkeeper Amer Shafi made an excellent save from a Brett Holman effort in the 14th minute although he could do nothing to stop Bresciano tapping the ball in a minute later from two meters out after a right-wing cross from Kruse.

Kruse blew a gilt-edged chance for the Socceroos’s second goal four minutes later but he made amends by setting up Cahill on the hour mark, the New York Bulls striker heading in from close range.

The 24-year-old Kruse slammed the door shut on Jordan by turning the defence inside out after receiving the ball on the edge of the area and beating Shafi at the near post in the 76th minute.

Neill scored his first international goal in his 91st appearance for the Socceroos, nodding in from close range to send a 43,000-plus crowd into raptures.

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