Duke ready to fire for Socceroos in Quarter Final against Korea Republic
Hype is building for Australia's Quarter Final clash with Korea Republic on Saturday, 3 February (AEDT).
Inside the camp, focus has been on how to take them on and as striker Mitch Duke explained, Australia may have an upper hand.
“Physically, they've got a shorter turn around and they obviously played the 120 minutes plus the pens, there's going to be some sore bodies and tired bodies from the South Korea camp,” he said.
“We've got to exploit that with our high energy and our physicality of how we play anyway, I think it could be an advantage for us to use for sure and I'm sure we're going to look at that in the coming days.”
He added that Korea Republic will likely be motivated coming into this match after winning in the way they did in the Round of 16.
“I think in tournament football, you can obviously ride the highs as well, I'm sure they'll be on adrenaline just winning how they came back, from 1-0 down winning the penalties,” he said.
“They're going to just want to kick on and it sounds like the coach has been very motivated to obviously not show weakness as well.”
Despite that, he said the Australian squad is more than ready for the task ahead on Saturday.
“Some of our games may not have been completely pretty during this Asian Cup, but I know we're focused on winning the games, which is obviously first priority,” he said.
“Coming up against South Korea, I think there's going to be a completely different approach and a different game altogether, and they're going to be coming at us we're going to be going at them.
“There'll be more spaces and maybe more fluid fluidity to kind of play football as well, so hopefully that's going to suit us even better and create more chances and obviously come away with the win.”
There remains a question on who may start up front for the Socceroos but there is good news regarding Duke's injury.
“I was very happy that I was able to get some minutes in my legs after the minor injury, after the Syria game, I was a little bit worried that it could have been worse,” he said.
“But all the medical staff here were brilliant and got straight on top of it sent me for a scan, know exactly what it was and how to deal with it and got me back, ready and firing, and I felt really good coming off the bench.”
And in terms of scoring goals, Duke wants to make amends for previous outings with a goal in the Quarter Final.
“I'm very motivated to make amends and make sure I can put one away in the next game and hopefully get myself into areas where we can create more chances as well,” he said.
“There's no better time to do it now than in the Quarter Finals.”
One thing that has remained true throughout the tournament is the Socceroos belief in themselves as a team.
Duke said: “We've got our own little belief system and we know when we can perform to our best that nobody can stop us.
“That's our mentality and that's the way we approach games, if we can obviously keep showing improvement as well, in the games of this tournament, I think we can go all the way.”
AFC ASIAN CUP QATAR 2023™ QUARTER FINAL
Australia v Korea Republic
Saturday, February 3rd 2024
Al-Janoub Stadium, Al-Wakrah
Kick-off: 6:30pm local (2:30am AEDT)
Broadcast: Network 10 and Paramount+
Every AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 match will be live on Paramount+