Sydney, Jan 13 (IANS) Australia reached the Asian Cup football tournament’s knockout stage Tuesday after two straight victories that saw eight different players scoring their eight goals, a fact that made coach Ange Postecoglou happy.
“It’s great, obviously, to have multiple goal scorers and it’s great to have multiple threats,” coach Postecoglou said Tuesday after overseeing his team’s 4-0 win against Oman, reports Xinhua.
“It’s not just about the Asian Cup. That’s our immediate target but it’s about building over a four-year cycle.”
The home team took a 1-0 lead from a corner kick in the 27th minute. Matt Mckay connected a pass from Trent Sainsbury to tick the ball into the net.
Robbie Kruse soon expanded their advantage as he sprinted to fire home the ball after taking a penetrating flick pass from Massimo Luongo in front of the penalty area.
In the first half added time, Mark Milligan’s shot was disallowed but the referee pointed to the penalty kick spot instead. Milligan converted the penalty to give Australia a comfortable 3-0 lead in the first half.
“We weren’t able to cope with the rhythm, the pace they have. They were too good for us tonight,” said Oman’s French coach Paul Le Guen at the post-game press conference Tuesday.
“It’s because they have the power, they have the fitness. Really they are the favourites of the competition. They have a good, balanced team,” added Le Guen.
Kruse was delighted with Australia’s multiple-goal win. “That’s the best I can remember the national team play. They (Oman) barely had the ball, we pressed them until the end of the game and we created so many chances, I couldn’t be more happy,” said Kruse.
Tomi Juric’s goal in the second half earned Australia a 4-0 victory. Australia will now face South Korea in Brisbane Saturday to decide who will be the leaders of Group A.
A draw with South Korea will ensure the hosts top group position, but Postecoglou made it clear that he will be going for victory in Brisbane three days later.
“We’ll go for a win. It’s not the way I’ve set up this team and it’s not the way I coach. Whether we need a draw or whatever else, I’m going to put a team out there to win a game of football,” Postecoglou said.