Former Socceroo midfielder Peter Katholos was one of the 38,000 fans who saw the Aussies defeat Greece 1-0 on Saturday night. He says the Australian team has a fantastic future but noted some areas that need to improve.
Katholos, capped 25 times for his nation and the 1982 Australian player of the year, was a guest at the Sydney FC Chairman’s function on Saturday night.
The creative midfielder says the Socceroos under Ange Postecoglou deserved their win and have a very bright future.
“I thought the game was quite good albeit both nations are preparing for upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
“Australia deserved to win though in saying that Greece were missing five players who’d start for them.
“Though Australia does need to improve with games against Japan coming up. Improve in the final third I think.
“They need to be more clinical. They could’ve had three goals and I guess that’s just the decision making side of things.The last ball in the last third with better options needs to improve.
“But the Socceroos were hungry and first to the ball. And the players are playing for places so it wasn’t really a friendly in that sense.”
Katholos said debutants Degenek, Geria and Gersbach did their future chances absolutely no harm.
“I always liked Gersbach at Sydney FC and I think the kid can be in the line up but that’s not to say Smith didn’t do well.”
As for Greece, Katholos enjoyed the work of Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
“And [Andreas] Samaris was quite good. This Greek team has a lot of grit but the Australians were favourites which shows you how far we've come.”
Katholos, a former Sydney Olympic, Larissa, Marconi midifielder, tipped Greek captain Alexandros Tziolis from PAOK to play and make a big difference on Tuesday night in Melbourne when the teams meet for the final game of the Dodoni Series.
“And Ange will try a few different combinations but the great thing is Australia now have so many options and if one’s missing a player can come in and do the job," said Katholos, who's still lacing up the boots in the Over-45 leagues.
“Depth now is fantastic and guys like Mooy and Rogic who have that technical ability and can put in a killer pass they give us an edge that we didn't have before.
"We should now start to think about not just qualifying for World Cups but actually winning them. It's good that Ange is saying these types of things."