Ange: Caltex Socceroos have belief as CONCACAF opponent awaits next month
Caltex Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou heaped praise on his team and “our greatest-ever” Tim Cahill after his two goals spurred his side to a crucial 2-1 win over Syria on Tuesday night.
Needing to win at Sydney Olympic Park to keep their FIFA 2018 World Cup hopes alive, Cahill scored with two trademark headers to bring up 50 international goals and delight more than 42,000 fans in Sydney.
Asked about Cahill post-match, Postecoglou told Fox Sports: “I said when he broke the 100 games that he’s a great Australian sportsman, beyond our sport.
“He’s got an international record that will stack up against the best in the world, and he keeps doing it.
“I can’t remember the last time he played 90 minutes and he’s gone out there and played 120 minutes. He’s got something about him for sure.
“You know these games throw up pressure and you’re looking for people who have been through it before and know what it takes…[Cahill] was at the forefront of that.”
Despite going behind early, Australia dominated throughout but were unable to find the killer second goal in the 90 minutes.
With scores locked at 1-1 at full-time an extra 30 minutes was needed with Cahill eventually scoring the crucial goal 10 minutes from time.
“I just told them to keep going. We were creating chances and we knew physically we always finish strong because the opposition have to work hard to stop us,” said Postecoglou when asked what his message to the team was before extra-time.
“They just had to keep going and have belief in what they are doing.
“They never wavered, they never questioned anything and kept believing in what they were doing and it paid off.”
Postecoglou said matches and nights like this would build belief in his squad and he’s confident they can keep riding the wave of momentum all the way to Russia next year.
“I’ve had confidence all the way. The nature of this qualifying process is we’ve done things in a difficult way the whole time,´he said.
“Maybe it’s not a bad thing. I’ve got full faith in these guys.
“Whenever it’s needed, they keep delivering and keep believing and working hard. I’ve got no doubt come those two games in November, they’ll do what’s needed again.”