Veteran striker Tim Cahill believes the Caltex Socceroos learned some valuable lessons in the loss to Greece who he said did their homework on the Australian team.
After seeing his side go down 2-1 at Etihad Stadium, Cahill said the Socceroos fell into Greece’s trap and went away from their own style of game which has served them so well recently.
“We shouldn’t get mixed up in their game,” Cahill told Fox Sports.
“They wanted to slow it down, they wanted fouls and that’s not our style.”
While disappointed with how the match panned out, the 36-year-old said the team need to take all they can from the experience for the future.
“This is part of football, you’re going to have to learn different tactics when you play against European teams and teams in Asia,” he said.
“There was a bit of nip and tuck and from both teams and having a go at each other but that’s no our style, we don’t want to be that sort of team.
“We want to play football and keep moving the ball quickly and they upset us a little bit.”
Unlike in Sydney where the Socceroos managed to pass their way through Greece despite the poor surface, the home side lacked the precision and fluency to do the same at Etihad Stadium.
Greece pressed the Socceroos high and forced turnovers deep in Australia’s territory, meaning Ange Postecoglou’s side couldn’t build any serious momentum.
“They obviously did their homework on us, they really worked hard to stop us playing out in that first half and made it difficult to get in the little pockets there,” Socceroos midfielder Mark Milligan said.
“They did well but I thought we addressed it at half-time and executed it a bit better [in the second half]. But we were just a little off the pace tonight.”
Most of the Socceroos squad can now go off on holidays before linking up with their clubs again for the new season, with the next international – a World Cup qualifier against Iraq – to come in early September.