Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou says his side will gain confidence from keeping their first clean-sheet this year but lamented a “disjointed” attack in their clash with UAE on Saturday morning (AEDT).
In a dour contest played in stifling conditions in Abu Dhabi, the Socceroos dominated the hosts but were unable to make the most of the few chances they created as the match finished goalless.
“It wasn’t so much the heat, I just thought in the front third we looked a little disjointed,” Postecoglou told Fox Sports.
“It’s understandable. That was (Robbie Kruse’s) first game for almost a year and Bernie’s (Ibini) first game ever for us so we did look a bit disjointed.
“But certainly when James Troisi came on and Brad Smith on the left-hand side we had a bit more penetration and looked a bit more threatening. That’s part of the development.”
Despite dominating the first half, the home side produced the best chance of the first 45 minutes, with only Alex Wilkinson’s goal-line clearance keeping scores level at the break.
It was a rare scare for the Socceroos, who looked much more assured in defence as they kept their first clean-sheet in nine internationals, dating back to Postecoglou’s first game in charge against Costa Rica last year.
“I don’t go home and pop champagne corks on clean sheets. It doesn’t really excite me,” the Socceroos boss said.
“But playing away from home in tough conditions, Maty didn’t really have a save to make; the best save was Wilko on the goal line.
“It will be good for their confidence for sure and I thought we defended better as a team. But it’s the kind of game we should look to dominate a bit more.”
The Socceroos will know need to recover and prepare for a clash with Qatar in four days’ time.
Postecoglou confirmed Western Sydney Wanderers FC defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley would get some game time in that one while he was hopeful of having Tommy Oar (groin) and Ivan Franjic (illness) available again.
Aussies Abroad: Taggart strikes again for Suwon Bluewings
Adam Taggart has continued his K-League hot-streak with an equaliser for Suwon Bluewings in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with leaders Jeonbuk Motors. Taggart – who played his first match for Australia in close to five years in the Caltex Socceroos 1-0 loss to Korea Republic earlier this
Copa America 2020 a 'phenomenal opportunity' for Caltex Socceroos: Ryan
Caltex Socceroos goalkeeper Mathew Ryan believes the Caltex Socceroos’ participation in the Copa America 2020 is a ‘phenomenal’ opportunity for Australian football. Australia are heading to the 47th edition of the showpiece South American tournament, to held in Argentina and C
Mooy learns who he'll face in the Championship's opening round
Caltex Socceroos star Aaron Mooy has learned who he’ll face on the opening day of the EFL Championship 2019/20 season with Huddersfield Town. The Terriers – relegated from the Premier League last campaign after two years in the top flight - will host Derby County at The John S