Socceroo skipper Mile Jedinak was a hugely satisfied man after Australia overcame a slow start and a disciplined China to win their Asian Cup quarter-final 2-0 in Brisbane on Thursday night.
“I think we thoroughly deserved the win. First half maybe we were a little bit sluggish,” he told reporters after the game.
“They did really well sitting and blocking up the space, they denied us that.
“Maybe we tried to force it a little bit too much. We addressed that at half time, be a little bit patient and keep making them spend the energy.
“We got the goal probably earlier than we expected but we took our chances today and if it wasn't for their keeper, it could have been a lot more.”
The Socceroos blew China away in a devastating 16 minute spell with superstar striker Tim Cahill scoring twice - including a candidate for goal of the tournament - to win their Asian Cup quarter-final 2-0 at Brisbane Stadium on Thursday night.
The victory sets up an Asian Cup semi-final next Tuesday in Newcastle against either Japan or the UAE.
The skipper started the game against China like a player who’d missed two matches with an ankle complaint. His distribution was a little off, something he admitted to, as he worked his way into the contest.
“I was working my way into the game of course, it's part and parcel of the game - if you try and force the issue, you're going to make mistakes.
“I think what was more important was the way we reacted, even under a little bit of pressure in that first half. The way some of the boys defended and our organisation was really, really positive.
“We took that up a notch in the second half and some individual brilliance from Timmy (won it for us). But overall, the team performance was very, very disciplined - something I think we've been crying out for, and something I think we thoroughly deserved tonight.
As for Tim Cahill, Jedinak added his tributes to a man fast becoming one of the icons of sport in this country.
“He's got to be right up there. Leading goalscorer, that's not a mean feat, and he's by some way now.
“You look at all the achievements and stuff, he is right up there. That's full credit to him. I'm just glad that everyone else was able to feed off that today and really provide Timmy with some great chances.
“I thought some of the way that the boys got through in that second half, we made a good Chinese team look quite ordinary at times, and that's something we can take a lot from.
"I feel great,” he added. “I think the win helps. It's all about recovery now, doing the right thing with travel and things like that tomorrow. It is what it is, but it's something we've all been used to and all been doing really well at.
“It goes without saying (that I'll be better for the run) - I was happy to get out there tonight, get the 90 minutes under my belt.”
The Socceroos will face Japan or UAE in the Semi-Finals of the AFC Asian Cup at Newcastle Stadium on Tuesday 27 January (8.00pm local kick off). Click Here to purchase tickets.
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