Odd moment in teary Cahill send-off
Australia has wrapped up a comfortable 3-0 win over Lebanon, sending off beloved Socceroo Tim Cahill in style at ANZ Stadium.
Two superb goals from young star Martin Boyle kicked the home side off on the right foot in the first half. Mat Leckie later slotted in a beautiful volley moments after coming off the bench in the second half to punch in the final nail.
All eyes were on Cahill as the footballing veteran laced up the boots one last time for Australia.
The 50-time goalscorer looked relaxed as he took the field one last time, cheekily poking his tongue out at the stadium of die-hard fans as the Socceroos raced home.
A golden opportunity emerged late in the match for the 38-year-old, however a Lebanon defender stole the moment by clearing the box with his header.
But it didn't at all matter as he closed out his career as the most dominant forward in Australian footballing history.
FOX Sports presenter Adam Peacock revealed a pitch invader ran onto the field in Cahill's final 10 minutes and gave him a hug.
Streaker.— Adam Peacock (@adampeacock3) November 20, 2018
A teary Cahill had the crowd on its feet as he addressed ANZ Stadium after the match.
"To the coaches and the players, without you I'd be nothing, thank you from the bottom of my heart," he said.
"The most important people, as well, are the fans. Every time I wore the green and gold I played from the heart. I just want to tell you all this is just as much for you as it is for me. Thank you very much Australia."
Cahill gets a standing ovation
After 80 minutes on the sidelines, Tim Cahill was brought on by Graham Arnold in front of a crowd of screaming fans.
With the job well and truly wrapped up for Australia and the crowd on his side, the 50-time goalscorer looked relaxed as he took the field one last time.
Leckie slots one in
Mat Leckie stunned ANZ Stadium with an incredible goal moments after coming off the bench in the second half, volleying a perfect assist from Martin Boyle past the 'keeper to make it 3-0.
But all eyes were on Tim Cahill as he laced up his boot and stuck his tongue out cheerfully at the roaring crowd. The retiring great had the stadium in the palm of his hand as he stretched on the sidelines awaiting his final run-on with the Roos.
Rhyan Grant is the hero we need
The night has been all about UK-born Socceroo Martin Boyle's magic match with the boot, but arguably the real showstopper on the pitch has been Rhyan Grant's mullet.
The debut Aussie sent mouths running by taking the field with a glorious mullet as the 600th Socceroo.
I swear Rhyan Grant must lead a double life and also lives in the southern Appalachian Mountains and makes moonshine. #AUSvLIB— Luke Foley (@LukeAFoley) November 20, 2018
Boyle gets the breakthrough
After a back-and-forth opening 15 minutes, Australia finally pierced the gap via Martin Boyle, who is playing just his second game for the Socceroos.
The UK-born Boyle hit the sweet spot with a long-range strike which deflected off Lebanon goalkeeper Mehdi Khalil into the back of the net.
GOAAAAL!— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) November 20, 2018
The Socceroos are ahead through Martin Boyle, whose strike from outside the box hits the back of the net from a deflection.
Australia 1-0 Lebanon.#OptusSport #AUSvLIB #GoSocceroos pic.twitter.com/znoQzSu3VP
Tomi Juric had a huge opportunity shortly after, finding himself square in front of goal after a pass through the middle of the box. The 27-year-old couldn't control the ball in time to take a measured shot and sent it soaring into the stands.
But it didn't matter, because Boyle was back in the mix seconds later.
A corner from Aaron Mooy was met with a header from Milos Degenek, who rebounded the ball off the crossbar straight to Boyle to close out the kill.
GOAAAL!— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) November 20, 2018
It's two for Boyle and two for the Socceroos!
Degenek's header hits the crossbar and drops to the Hibs man to finish from close range.
Australia 2-0 Lebanon.#OptusSport #AUSvLIB #GoSocceroos pic.twitter.com/yMStdIGiJN
Cahill's touching gesture
Tim Cahill marked the end of his career with a $50,000 donation to the John Moriarty Foundation for Aboriginal children in remote communities.Moriarty, who was a former football player for South Australian first division teams before becoming an acclaimed artist, thanked Cahill for inspiring countless children over his career.
The 38-year-old will start on the bench and is expected to get a run late in the game in the hope of adding to his 50-goal Socceroos record.