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."
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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."