• Aaron Mooy was quite a handful for Bangladesh (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Sometimes you don't fully realise how important a player is to a team until he has a bad game or you have to do without him.
By
Philip Micallef

18 Nov 2015 - 8:30 AM  UPDATED 18 Nov 2015 - 10:13 AM

Take the Australian team, for example.

The Socceroos enhanced their chances of winning the penultimate qualifying group in their quest to reach the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a 4-0 win over Bangladesh in Dhaka.

What made the day even more profitable was Jordan's 1-0 loss to Kyrgyzstan which gave the Socceroos the leadership of the section with two rounds to go.

Cahill bags hat-trick as Socceroos thrash Bangladesh
Tim Cahill scored a first-half hat-trick as Australia made easy work of their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh, running out 4-0 victors at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka, on Wednesday morning (AEDT).
This of course means that it will be the Jordanians not the Socceroos who will need to win to top the group when the two teams meet at a still undecided venue in Australia in March.

The game was a classic game of two halves: one with Aaron Mooy and the other without him.

The Melbourne City playmaker enhanced his growing reputation as a quality international player with a commanding 45-minute display highlighted by two assists for Tim Cahill, who scored a hat-trick to take his record to 45 goals in 88 matches for Australia.

Surely the magical tally of 50 goals in a 100 matches has to be just around the corner.

Despite having to play on a pitch that resembled a cow paddock, Mooy controlled the tempo of the match and was a constant provider of the sort of quality service forwards dream of.

Clearly Mooy has become in a very short time a most important cog in the Socceroos wheel.

No wonder Ange Postecoglou rates him so highly, describing him as the best player in the A-League.

When Mooy was replaced at halftime the team somehow lost its impetus and fluidity.

Not only did the Socceroos fail to add to the four-goal tally accrued in the first half but their game degenerated to a point where both teams seemed almost on a par.

Okay, it is probably unfair to be so drastic on a team that had every right to take its foot off the pedal after securing victory so early. These things happen.

Postecoglou, being the perfectionist that he is, will not have been too pleased but he did acknowledge that the difficulties his players had to face in getting to such a dangerous place as Bangladesh so soon after playing in Canberra could have taken their toll.

For the second time in a row Postecoglou used a 4-4-2 formation and it worked again.

Which would suggest that he meant every word when he said in Canberra last week that he feels that the team needs to have a different system to his preferred 4-3-3 to fall back on if needed.

Bangladesh are too weak a team for anybody to make any sound judgments on the merits of the Socceroos' performance.

Yet the fact remains that in the two games Postecoglou went with a two-striker formation the Socceroos scored seven goals without conceding and, more importantly, created lots of scoring opportunities.

Different teams and venues bring different challenges, of course, but the two matches in Canberra and Dhaka have shown that the Socceroos do not rely on one particular system any more.

This is one of the most important aspects to emerge from the two matches.

Postecoglou has meticulously built a national squad with strong competition for each and every position.

The second-half performance in Dhaka would suggest that the Socceroos have yet to reach a point where anybody can come into the team at any given time and slot into a role with no disruption to the team's play and system.

Postecoglou also appears to have succeeded in his bid to have a tactical Plan B in place if his favoured three-striker system needs tweaking.

It's been a good week for Australia.