Communication key to shutting out Dutch duo

Socceroo central defender Alex Wilkinson has lamented the lack of communication that helped kill off the Aussies’ chances early on against Chile in Australia’s opening group loss at the FIFA World Cup in Cuiaba.

In a whirlwind opening 15 minutes, the Socceroos struggled defensively to cope with the Chilean onslaught on Saturday morning.

The first goal from Alexis Sanchez wasn’t for lack of defensive numbers in the box, while a second from Jorge Valdivia saw the Aussie central defence lacking cohesion again in a hammer blow to their chances.

It was part of a learning process in the 3-1 loss and something Matt Spiranovic has already noted while Wilkinson, his central defensive partner, reinforced when speaking with the media on Sunday in Vitoria.

“The two goals we conceded were definitely preventable, we just need to work on our communication,” said the Jeonbuk Hyundai FC defender.

“We gave Chile too much time and space in the first 20. Then we started to believe.

“We want to improve every game we play.

"We kept the ball well and passed through the lines. We have learnt our lesson and need to start better.

“I didn't feel overawed at all, there were nerves for sure but it was a fantastic experience.

“[And] we showed in the second half that we belong at this level," said Wilkinson.

Ahead of Thursday morning’s clash (Australian time) at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, the squad spent the last two days recovering from the clash with Chile and analysing the Netherlands.

They will train in Vitoria on Monday and Porto Alegre on Tuesday before Wednesday’s clash at the Estadio Beira-Rio (Thursday morning AEST).

It will be another arduous task for Australia facing the on-fire Netherlands strike force of van Persie and Robben who helped the Dutch to a stunning 5-1 win over reigning world champions Spain.

Meanwhile, after the heartbreak of ending his World Cup with a hamstring injury early in the second half against Chile, Ivan Franjic had an encouraging message for his fellow Socceroo teammates.

“We have the belief in this camp and think we can beat the world’s best,” he said.

“Everyone back in Australia including family and people on social media have been great since my injury.”

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