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Cahill's Socceroos swansong limited to 5 minutes

Tim Cahill's farewell appearance for Australia will be limited to the last five minutes as the Socceroos look ahead to life without their record scorer - and wonder how to replace his goals.

Cahill, 38, will earn his 108th and final cap in today's friendly against Lebanon in Sydney, but coach Graham Arnold has thornier matters at hand ahead of Australia's Asian Cup defence in January in the UAE.

Arnold said yesterday that Cahill, the former Everton forward, would be restricted to a five-minute cameo as the Socceroos aim to make the most of valuable match practice.

"The first 85 minutes is all about our performance," Arnold told Fox Sports, ahead of Australia's final outing before regrouping late next month for their Asian Cup preparations.


"There (are) no friendly games - the last five minutes can be for Timmy."

The talismanic Cahill, known for his prodigious leap and knack of scoring important goals, has hit the net 50 times for his country, playing in four World Cups.

The new-look Australia's lack of goals was apparent in Saturday's 1-1 stalemate against South Korea, when the hosts dominated but had to wait until stoppage time for Massimo Luongo's equaliser.

Arnold, who replaced Bert van Marwijk after this year's disappointing World Cup campaign, said the problem was so acute that he had ordered his forwards to do extra "finishing practice" at their clubs. - AFP