Maty Ryan: Japan defeat 'hurts'

Despite a disappointing defeat against Japan, Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan believes Australia will continue to improve as individuals and as a team. 

The Socceroos’ 11 game winning streak came to a close following a narrow defeat at Saitama Stadium on Tuesday.

Ryan, who wore the captain's armband and was voted the Socceroos’ player of the match, was disappointed with the eventual defeat but pleased with the effort and energy Australia put in throughout the match. 

“It obviously hurts when you lose,” said Ryan. 

“We felt a bit hard done by with the luck for that second goal to go in, but that’s football. 

“We’ve been enjoying a good run results-wise, and I can’t fault the effort of the boys. 

“The energy throughout the whole game was positive, and it was the start of the game that hurt us.”

Ryan, who made five saves throughout the game and three inside his penalty area, knows that there are lessons from of the game that will boost Australia moving forward. 

“We leave no stoned unturned in our preparation, it’s just the way sport goes,” he said. 

“There’s plenty to learn from through analysing it, and that’s the important thing here, that we go away from it and learn the lessons that are going to help us moving forwards, but all is not bad - nine (points) from 12. 

“It would have been great to keep the momentum going and make the record even bigger, but it is what it is, and now it’s important how we digest it and that we respond.”

The Socceroos went down early to a goal from Ao Tanaka in the eighth minute.

Eventually, the Green and Gold found their groove, and in the 64th minute, Australia was awarded a penalty after a foul on Ajdin Hrustic, who was lining up a shot just outside the area.

After a lengthy VAR check, the penalty was downgraded to a freekick, but it made no difference to Hrustic, who thundered a magnificent strike in off the crossbar, from the same shooting position that the foul was originally given. 

“In football, you’ve got to use whatever weapons you have to win games, and it’s nice that he (Ajdin Hrustic) has come in and provided that difference in some games”, said Ryan. 

“He’s doing well, he’s getting plenty of game time in Germany as well so it’s only going to bode well for us, and we’re going to keep improving individually and collectively. 

“We’ll regroup and go again in November.”

Ajdin Hrustic

Real Sociedad shot-stopper Ryan joins teammate Jackson Irvine in looking forward to the exhilarating possibility of once again playing in front of home fans, following the match against Japan, where the Socceroos featured in front of a crowd for the first time in almost two years. 

“As a national team, that’s our first game with fans since we stopped in November 2019, so it’s been a while”, he said. 

“Obviously it’s an extra advantage and I’m not too sure what the scenario is yet - obviously there’s the noise that we’re going to be going home in November and if we can do that and get the home support there’s going to be a big difference. 

I hope the Australian public doesn’t underestimate the impact they can have on this campaign moving forwards, so if we do get back there we’ll be looking upon them to help give us a lift and a boost and use it to our advantage to qualify and keep winning.”

Up next, the Socceroos will face Saudi Arabia on Thursday, the 11th of November, before playing away to China PR on 16th.