Irvine savours starting chance in crucial Socceroos victory
Jackson Irvine praised the nature of the Socceroos' "controlled" 3-0 win over Palestine as he revelled in his first start at AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™.
The energetic Irvine justified Graham Arnold's decision to include him in the starting XI at Rashid Stadium in Dubai, producing a typically all-action performance at the heart of proceedings.
The Hull City midfielder, a substitute in the previous Group B clash with Jordan, relished every minute as goals from Jamie Maclaren, Awer Mabil and Apostolos Giannou gave life to Australia’s campaign.
"I enjoyed it. It was great to be involved from the start," Irvine told socceroos.com.au.
"I don't prepare any differently for a game whether I'm starting or not starting – you're going to have to contribute in one way or another.
"But to be involved for the full 90 minutes was fantastic, my first 90 minutes at a major tournament.
"Everybody is incredibly pleased we got the three points and the manner in which we did so. I thought we controlled the game with and without the ball.
"It was great to get two early goals, delighted for Jamie to get his first goal as well.
"I think all round it was a positive display."
'GREAT RESPONSE': Social media reacts to dominant Dubai victory
Arnold's men are now firmly in control of their own Group B destiny having established a two-point buffer to next opponents Syria and fourth-placed Palestine.
Irvine confirmed attention has now switched to rounding out the first phase of the competition in strong fashion.
"The same messages apply. We learn from the game, positives and negatives, and then we move on," the 25-year-old said.
"All focus now is on Syria on Tuesday.
"The game yesterday was obviously pleasing and the way we handled it and the reaction from the previous game, and now we have to do the same again.
"We have to put the game behind us, learn the lessons and approach the game on Tuesday the same way."
Match preview: Socceroos v Uzbekistan
Having finished the group stage on a strong note, the Socceroos head into their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ Round of 16 clash against Uzbekistan in a do-or-die encounter. Australia bounced back from their opening fixture to score six goals in two games, putting three goals past Pa
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