Graham Arnold wanted the Socceroos to be "ruthless" against the world number 161, which, at the beginning, sounded motivational and patriotic. And, by the end, sounded more like the local bully bragging about beating up the ginger kid with asthma.

But that's not really the way it worked out. Arnie can talk all he wants about merciless destruction, when you look into Awer Mabil's eyes or Rhyan Grant's mullet, all we see is sweet kids from the A-League. That's the way we like it.

Let's face it, when you're up against Chinese Taipei next week, it's refreshing to know you come from a nation that's a little embarrassed to want to beat them 10-0.

So as we recap the Aussie performances blow-by-blow, first let's pay a little credit to one of football's true minnows, who came out fighting and like almost all sides we play, still out-cheered us in the stands.


Mat Ryan - 7

Might have to check those multi-million dollar fingers for frostbite after Ryan's snowman-esque level of inactivity on a harsh Arctic / Spring night in Canberra.

Solid performance, nothing to see here. But before you read the rest of our gushing ratings, here's a fact for you that really sums it all up: Ryan earns around $60,000 a week and his opposing shot-stopper, Kiran Chemjong, is reportedly only the fifth Nepalese footballer to ever own a car.

This is a country for whom Australia are "the most qualified" opponent they've ever faced. Just a reminder that when the Eurosnobs among us decry Aussie football, sometimes we just don't know how lucky we are.


In pics: Australia vs Nepal

All the action as the Socceroos managed to make heavy weather of a 5-0 win...

Rhyan Grant - 6

He was a bit nonplussed for most of the match, even losing ground to his impressive counter Anjan Bista at times.

If there's a glaring criticism to be made of the Socceroos overall performances, it was that tedious over-reliance on pushing the ball out wide for crosses. Again and again and again.

He cuts in and delivers sumptuous curling through balls that Cesc Fabregas would be proud of. But by the end, even Grant looked bored.

Bailey Wright - 7

Great to see big Bailey back in the Socceroos lineup and absolutely eclipsed by the size of his defensive partner.

After a long injury layoff and spell away from the national team, this new look central pairing was the big talking point of an otherwise set-and-forget lineup and while Wright wasn't challenged, he did look very comfortable as a high-sitting, playmaking defender.

Impressive, considering this isn't his natural game at all. His passing was slick and he hugged the halfway line, keeping us forward when we could have slipped back into side-to-sides after taking an early lead.

Harry Souttar - 7

As they say in good ol' Port Headland, WA, birthplace of Souttar's mum, this lad is built like a brick shithouse.

Arnie knows better than anyone that there's no better way to mercilessly beat up the Nepalese than chucking a 2-metre tall centreback up front and slinging crosses to him like keep-away against your little brother.

But despite a mostly good performance - he scored two convincing headers on debut but also missed a few sitters and sort of stood around looking sweaty - there's a lot to be hopeful about from this lad. Uncertain hope at this stage, but hope nonetheless.

As Simon Hill said in the commentary, the Souttar brothers (his brother John plays for Scotland) are going to be a trivia question someday, alongside Jerome and Kevin Prince Boateng.

But which Boateng are we going to get? Please, God, let it be Jerome.