‘We are like brothers': Sainsbury praises history-making Socceroos' team spirit
Socceroos defender Trent Sainsbury was full of praise for the team spirit that helped his side secure a historic tenth victory in a row, despite tough conditions in Vietnam.
In hot and humid 29 degree conditions in Hanoi, Australia became the first nation in the AFC to win ten consecutive qualification matches in a single qualification campaign as they defeated Vietnam on Tuesday night.
While the Socceroos of 2019-to-2021 are also just the second senior Australian men’s national team in the 99-year history of the Socceroos to win 10 ‘A’ international matches in a row, Sainsbury insisted there is more to come.
“We click so quickly when we get to camp because we are like brothers,” Sainsbury explained.
“And when a new player comes in, we give them a welcome to the family.
I think when we play on a good pitch, we can outplay any team in the world.
“I'm looking forward to playing some good pitches with this team because we can produce some exciting football and score some good goals.”
Following the hard-fought 1-0 victory, Sainsbury praised the Socceroos performance despite the difficult playing conditions.
“We always knew it was going to be difficult coming here to Vietnam,” Sainsbury explained post-match.
“We were causing them a little bit of a problem with those balls over the top in the first half.
“We didn’t really do much in the second half, we kind of took our foot off the gas.
“They had a couple of half-chances and were getting a little bit desperate on the counter-attack but overall, three points away in Vietnam and a clean sheet, I’ll take that every day of the week.”
Rhyan Grant's 43rd-minute header proved the difference for Australia as they overcame the Vietnamese.
With Grant committing to two months on the road with the Socceroos, Sainsbury also praised his former A-League compatriot.
“Great effort. For him to leave Australia, knowing that he's probably gonna have to quarantine for two weeks, it’s a sacrifice for your country and that’s what it’s all about,” he said.
“You can’t ask for more than that. He’s got his just reward because his goal got us the win, and I gave him a slap over the back of the head to congratulate him.”
The Socceroos victory against Vietnam ensures that Australia have collected six points from a possible six to kick-off the Final Round of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualifying.
There are still four matches to play in 2021, with games against Oman and Japan scheduled for October, and Saudi Arabia and China PR on the radar to round out the year. Details of the matches are TBD.