Jamie Maclaren made a strong argument for his inclusion in the final 23 for the Socceroos’ squad headed to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament by scoring three goals for his side to gain a 5- 5 draw in the match between his Hibernian team and the Rangers of the Scottish Premier League.

It would appear as though Maclaren will give Bert van Marwijk pause for thought as the Socceroos’ Coach prepares to cut some of the players at any moment, down from the 32 at which it now stands to 26.

Maclaren’s goals were struck in the 22nd and 69th minutes, but it was his hat-trick goal during stoppage time that was the most important, as it proved to be the equaliser when his club was staring down the barrel of a 5 – 4 loss to the Rangers.

Longer term, the Hibernians needed to beat the Rangers by six goals to jump ahead of them to third in the SPL standings. They were halfway there when Florian Kamberi and Scott Allan netted ahead of Maclaren, but that pursuit left them exposed defensively and they were leveled by halftime off scores by James Tavernier, Jordan Rossiter and Bruno Alves before the first half was ended.

The Rangers went up 5 – 3 off goals by Jason Holt and Josh Windass (seriously?), upon which Maclaren pulled Hibs back by one.

Despite the Scottish sounding lilt to his name, Maclaren was actually born in Melbourne. He is on loan to Hibernian from Darmstadt 98 and he represented Scotland at youth level.

Scotland did not qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament, so Malaren either gets in with the Socceroos or sits out.

Holt was sent off with his side holding a one-goal edge and Maclaren used the opportunity to notch his third in stoppage time.

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