Milligan hails his heroes after win in UAE

Caltex Socceroo stand-in skipper Mark Milligan said he was always confident that Australia’s game plan would reap their rewards in Abu Dhabi.

Milligan took the armband and the central holding role from Mile Jedinak who was ruled out with an injury picked up against Iraq last Thursday.

Super-sub Cahill wins it for the Caltex Socceroos

And the former A-League star now with Baniyas in the UAE was superb in the centre of the park in Australia’s 1-0 win on Wednesday morning [AEST].

Caltex Socceroo Mark Milligan has been involved in an eight-goal thriller in the latest round of top-flight action in the UAE.

“We tried to move the ball as quickly as possible. I think we stuck to our principles in what was ultimately difficult conditions,” Milligan told Fox Sports.

The Socceroos left it relatively late to score the winner but Milligan was never concerned about the final result.

“I was always confident we’d get something [out of the game]. We were working them hard and we could see they were working hard and it was going to take its toll eventually in this weather.

“We held the ball for long periods of time and it was just a matter of us being patient. We created enough chances but one will do us.”

The Socceroos have now made it two wins from two in the final phase of World Cup qualification in Group B after defeating Iraq 2-0 in Perth last Thursday.

Socceroos players celebrate Tim Cahill's strike against the UAE.

“To be able to captain tonight, and get the win, is an added bonus. Over here the boys in the media made it known we hadn’t had the best of results over here but we turned that around tonight.”

Australia next face Saudi Arabia away and Japan at home both in October. 

He added: "It's excellent to start this way but it won't mean much if we don't continue with it."

Japan defeated Thailand 2-0 overnight.