Arnold: Character key in Thailand comeback

Head coach Graham Arnold has lauded the character of his U-23 side, as Australia came from 1-0 down to secure an important comeback win over Thailand's U-23 on Saturday.

As the side looked to be heading into the half-time break behind, Nicholas D'Agostino found an equaliser to send the teams into the interval level. 

And, after a much-improved second half, it was D'Agostino again who popped up, scoring the winner after a fantastic flowing move down the left flank. 

READ: D'Agostino revels in one of the 'greatest moments' of his career
WATCH: Match highlights from 2-1 win over Thailand

While conditions were tricky once again, and a raucous home support behind AFC U-23 Championship hosts Thailand, Arnold was pleased with how his side dealt with the circumstances. 

“I think we showed great character as a team after going down one-nil,” Arnold said. “It (conceding) took the confidence out of the team for a good ten minutes or so, but I thought after that, especially second half, we played very well and should have won by more.”

“We have only been together as a team for a short period of time and the twenty-three players that we have with us have come together and while they don’t know each other perfectly you can see the improvement in every game.”

“We just needed more patience on the ball. I thought second half we controlled the game much better. We made Thailand work hard defensively and then they ran out of legs.”

“The conditions are very taxing and no doubt there will be more changes for the Bahrain game so that we can get fresh legs on and keep working hard.”

Arnold also paid tribute to the home supporters, after they unveiled a large banner reading “Pray For All Lives; Thai Hearts For Australia”. 

“We want to thank the Thai people for the beautiful banner behind the goal that their hearts are with Australia at the moment because of the bushfires. Thank you to all the Thai people, beautiful.” 

Thai fans banner

Australia U-23 Men’s National Team – Upcoming Fixtures

Australia U-23 v Bahrain U-23 – AFC U-23 Championship Thailand 2020
Date: Tuesday, 14 January 2020
Venue: Thammasat Stadium, Pathum Thani, Thailand
Kick-off: 8.15pm (local); 12.15am +1 (AEDT)
Stream/Broadcast (Australia only): Fox Sports, Kayo Sports, My Football YouTube Channel