Forgotten striker’s stunning audition for Socceroos

Adam Taggart celebrates with the Roar fans.
Adam Taggart celebrates with the Roar fans.

THE Socceroos' central striker position has proved a problem Graham Arnold is still working to solve.

The likes of Jamie Maclaren and Tomi Juric have yet to truly make the role their own, meaning heading into an Asian Cup campaign, there's still room for another player to make their move.

On Saturday night, forgotten Socceroo Adam Taggart threw his hat back into the ring in style.

The striker's sensational double sealed all three points for Brisbane Roar against Melbourne City in a 2-0 victory at Suncorp Stadium.

It was a toothless showing from the visitors, with Warren Joyce's decision to drop Bruno Fornaroli proving costly - but the same couldn't be said for the Roar, with Alex Lopez's creativity matched by Taggart's deadly conversion.

Jamie Young was tested early in the Roar goal, before Taggart sprung into action in the 27th minute to put his side 1-0 up.

The home side then began to take control, dominating possession and creating numerous chances.

Taggart delivered Roar three much needed points. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Taggart delivered Roar three much needed points. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

But it was the Roar number nine who popped up again, curling his shot into the top right corner on the 65th minute mark.

The shot, hit with such precision, sailed past a helpless Eugene Galekovic in goal for City, with Taggart wheeling away to celebrate with the fans.

As a result, registered their first win of the campaign, while the toothless display from the visitors saw them miss the opportunity to go top of the A-League ladder.

"I love Taggart as a player," Roar coach John Aloisi said.

"I know what he can do, I know that he's a top striker, he's got goals in him.

"I still think he's only 70 per cent of where he can get to. And you're right, as long as he keeps his body right - and we do, and we help him with that - he's gonna score goals for us because his movement is incredible up front.

"And he got himself into good positions before his goal and then still after his goal he kept going."

Eric Bautheac and Scott Jamieson have a difference of opinion. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Eric Bautheac and Scott Jamieson have a difference of opinion. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

Taggart has had a horror run with injuries in recent years, including during his time at Fulham - while he played just 14 games for Perth last season due to injury, but still managed eight goals.

But this season, the 25-year-old has scored five goals in as many games, underlining his quality.

"It's the service too and it's also you've got to make (those) runs in behind and that's what Brisbane were doing well all night and when you've got someone like Bautheac that can find (him) and Lopez," former Socceroo and ex-Victory striker Archie Thompson said on Fox Sports.

"But this is what Taggart does really well, he's always on the edge of shoulders of the last defence, in and around the box, when he gets his opportunities.

"Okay, of late not taking as many but he's creating them and as a striker, I'd be frustrated if I was not creating it. But he's creating and now he's starting to score. His body's in good shape, I'm really excited.

"I mean, the first game, when I'd seen him against Central Coast, I hadn't seen him play too much football because of injuries but just seeing the way that he is from that game and the way he's developing and the way he's starting to score goals ... the way he makes his runs - from a striker's point of view, to see that, it's really exciting for Brisbane."

And if Taggart continues in this rich vein of form, he could get even more people talking.

News Corp Australia


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