Striker Robbie Kruse insists the Socceroos are focused on creating history by becoming the first Aussie men's team to win the Asian Cup.
Ange Postecoglou’s side are just 90 minutes away from a second consecutive final appearance and Kruse admitted the chance to write their names into the history books was a strong motivator.
“It’s been the focus from the beginning,” Kruse told reporters on Saturday in Newcastle.
“We could be first [men's] team to win major silverware for Australia. To do it on home soil would be something special.
“It’s always been the focus to come here and get the job done.
"The job is to win the tournament. In saying that, we take it each game as it comes and that begins with UAE on Tuesday.”
The Socceroos face tournament surprise packet United Arab Emirates in Newcastle on Tuesday night after the Emiratis upset Japan in a quarter-final penalty shoot-out.
Kruse said he was surprised to see the Blue Samurai eliminated so early but rubbished claims that the Socceroos would now have an easier path to the Asian Cup final.
“We’re under no illusion that the game on Tuesday is going to be extremely difficult. Some people may say we’re already in the final but we’re not looking at it that way,” Kruse said.
“We saw the game last night, maybe it was an upset but it’s still going to be a difficult game. We’ll just focus on our game plan, we’ll stick to that and hopefully we’ll be alright.
“UAE are not going to be easy, we’ll show them the due respect they deserve. They’ve got some quality players, in particular their number 10 [Omar Abdulrahman].
“They’ve just knocked off the reigning champions and they’ve put in some great performances in this tournament.
“But if we stick to our game-plan, the result will be in our favour.”
Three of the four Asian Cup quarter finals have gone to extra time and two to penalties, a scenario which Kruse and the Socceroos are keen to avoid on Tuesday night.
“Obviously we want to finish the game in 90 minutes and we’re confident we’ll do that,” he said.
“The way we’ve been playing, we press teams and work them around so much that in the final 30 minutes they’re off their feet.
“Hopefully we can do that again on Tuesday and it doesn’t go to extra time.”
The Socceroos play the United Arab Emiriates in the Semi-Finals of the AFC Asian Cup on Tuesday 27 January with the match to be broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports 505 and LIVE on ABC from 8pm AEDT.
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