Cahill pays tribute to Oman

Socceroos goal scoring hero Tim Cahill has put Australia’s lacklustre performance against Oman this evening down to the sapping conditions in Thailand, and, the quality of their opponent.

BANGKOK: Socceroos goal scoring hero Tim Cahill has put Australia-s lacklustre performance against Oman this evening down to the sapping conditions in Thailand, and, the quality of their opponent.

Having posted Australia-s first ever FIFA World Cup goal in Kaiserslautern 391 days earlier, Cahill again etched his name into history by netting the Socceroos- maiden Asian Cup strike in the first minute of stoppage time tonight.

Cahill has now scored thirteen goals while wearing the green and goal of Australia, and, is quickly establishing a reputation as the Socceroos- go to man.

Whilst Cahill-s contribution was one outstanding positive of Australia-s showing against their less-fancied opponents, there was little else to boast for the tournament favourites, who appeared a shadow of their vibrant displays in Germany last year.

"It-s great to be the first Asian Cup goal scorer, but, that-s what I-m there to do," said Cahill.

"It-s a special moment for myself, my team mates and my family, and all I can say is that I-m very pleased.

"The humidity today - I think this is the worst we-ve experienced, unless you-re here, you don-t know how much it drains you.

"The Oman team, they-re technically gifted and a very, very good football team and a lot of credit goes to them.

"The critics might say that we should be beating these teams by loads, but I don-t think so, I think they deserve to be here and they deserve to be challenging with the best and we just have to live up to being the favourites."

Cahill was a standout following his introduction at the expense of Vince Grella with half an hour to play.

Having not appeared in a competitive fixture since early March, Cahill-s drive and ambition going forward was a telling factor in Australia-s late resurgence against a stubborn Omani side.

Bizarrely, Cahill-s last gasp equaliser was almost an identical repeat of his unforgettable cameo against Japan one year ago.

On that occasion, the Everton attacker was brought on for Mark Bresciano with forty minutes to play, at a time where the Socceroos were also trailing by a goal.

Famously, Cahill was on target twice for the Socceroos to virtually secure Australia-s passage to the final sixteen in Germany.

Though the crowd on hand tonight was considerably less, the importance of Cahill-s intervention was not and for Cahill, his involvement at this stage of his recovery from serious injury was the major factor.

"The agreement was that I-d play twenty minutes and maybe not even get on tonight," said Cahill.

"It-s even hard sitting on the sidelines and watching because I-m so eager, but Arnie-s done well by bringing me in.

"This is what I-ve built up for and this is where I wanted to be, I said when I got injured against Sheffield United, when I broke my fifth metatarsal, that I-d be back for the Asian Cup, and I promised big things.

"It-s good to be back and in decent form, but most of all it-s just good to be fit."

The Socceroos- Asian Cup campaign continues on Friday, 13 July against Iraq at Bangkok-s Rajamangala National Stadium. Kick off is at 5.20pm local time (8.20pm AEST).

Fox Sports will feature live and exclusive coverage of the match from 8pm AEST. Click here for the entire Fox Sports broadcast schedule.