Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou says his side paid the price for getting the “small details” wrong in their 2-1 defeat to Japan on Tuesday night in Osaka.
An encouraging first half in Osaka was soured by a couple of lapses in concentration after the break as goals to Yasuyuki Konno and Shinji Okazaki ensured victory for the Samurai Blue.
“We were poor on set-pieces all night…at this level its unacceptable,” a disappointed Postecoglou told Fox Sports.
“We had an excellent first half and even at the start of the second we were looking really good and comfortable then we conceded the goal and it gave them the momentum and a little bit of belief.
“It was positive but ultimately we can’t defend like that at set pieces. It’s alright getting that part of the game right then be let down by the details.
“The players worked hard, the football was good but when those details are missing you pay the price.”
Postecoglou decided to leave talisman Tim Cahill on the bench in favour of an attacking triumvirate of Robbie Kruse, James Troisi and Mathew Leckie.
While the trio combined well they struggled to produce the quality final ball in the attacking third.
Cahill was finally introduced into the fray with 17 minutes left and it was no surprise when he scored Australia’s consolation goal with a trademark header in stoppage time.
Asked if he regretted not putting Australia’s greatest-ever goal-scorer on earlier, Postecoglou said: “No regrets. We obviously need to expose our players and a lot of them learned a great deal tonight.
“Aziz (Behich) and Trent Sainsbury have only got a few games between them and I thought they acquitted themselves well and got some good international experience.”
With less than two months until the Asian Cup gets underway, Postecoglou admitted the side still have plenty of work to do not only on themselves but assessing their opponents.
He stressed how important it was for the players to go back and play regularly for their clubs or risk missing out on a berth in the squad for the tournament.
Caltex Socceroos defender Jurman departs Al-Ittihad
Caltex Socceroos defender Matthew Jurman is on the lookout for a new club after announcing he has left his Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad. Jurman confirmed on social media he is now a "free agent" and thanked the club for allowing him to experience playing in the Saudi Pro Leag
Taggart joins De Bruyne and Ibrahimovic in FIFA 19 TOTW
Adam Taggart has earned a spot in the FIFA 19 Team of the Week after his hat-trick heroics for Suwon Bluewings. The Australian joins Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne, LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos in the latest release of 'in for
Australia U-23 squad named to face New Zealand U-23
Gary van Egmond has named a 24-man squad for Australia U-23's upcoming two-match series against New Zealand U-23 in Wollongong and Campbelltown. The matches, to be played at WIN Stadium in Wollongong on Friday 6 September and in Campbelltown on Monday 9 September will serve as