Giannou delighted to deliver in promising Socceroos cameo
He might remember little of the moment but Apostolos Giannou was still able to soak up the “amazing” feeling of his maiden AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ goal.
The Cyprus-based striker needed just eight minutes off the bench in Dubai to round out the Socceroos’ valuable 3-0 win over Palestine on Friday.
Giannou timed his leap well to nod in Chris Ikonomidis’ superb cross in the final minute of normal time, putting the seal on a result that lifted Australia to second in Group B.
Called into the squad as a late replacement for the injured Martin Boyle, the rangy Giannou brings a unique skillset to Graham Arnold’s attacking options and was pleased to showcase his ability.
“It felt amazing [to score],” the 28-year-old said.
“I don’t remember much! I just remember the ball going in the back of the net and after that just celebrating.
“It was great to get some time on the park and I’m very happy I made an impact. I really wanted to get some minutes on the field.
“I was hoping to prove myself and make an impact and thanks to Chris’ ball – that helped me a lot – I scored.”
GALLERY: Best images from Australia's dominant win in Dubai
STELLAR START: Irvine relishes opportunity against Palestine
Giannou was among the players who got straight back into training on the team’s return to Al Ain as attention switched immediately to the upcoming date with Syria.
“Everyone was very happy with the performance [against Palestine], with the win and that everything we had been working on came off,” the centre-forward said.
“Now we just look forward to the next game, concentrating on that. It’s a very important game for us.
“We want to perform, we want to score a lot of goals, and we want to win so we can be in the next round.”
Australia, currently second in Group B, have a two-point lead on both Syria and fourth-placed Palestine ahead of the final round of group fixtures.
LIVE BLOG: Preparations ramp up ahead of Uzbekistan clash
Star winger Mathew Leckie is among the players involved in training as the Socceroos continue preparations for their do-or-die date with Uzbekistan at AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™. Trent Sainsbury has spoken in the lead-up to the Round of 16 encounter and said team-mate Leckie was
Sainsbury gains fresh perspective from stint on the sideline
Socceroos defender Trent Sainsbury said the one-match suspension he served during Australia’s 3-2 win against Syria in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ gave him a different perspective on the game. Sainsbury was forced to sit out the Socceroos’ final Group B fixture after accruing
How to watch the Socceroos v Uzbekistan in Round of 16
With the group stages well and truly complete, and teams knowing their Round of 16 fate, the Socceroos enter the pointy end of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ with a battle against Uzbekistan on Tuesday morning (1am AEDT). Graham Arnold’s men have showcased a free-flowing brand o
Meulensteen praises Socceroos going ‘from strength to strength’
Socceroos Assistant Coach Rene Meulensteen has praised the squad’s performances as they prepare for their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ Round of 16 clash against Uzbekistan on Tuesday morning (AEDT). Australia finished strongly in Group B, registering a 3-0 win over Palestine before