Socceroos striker Tim Cahill says defeat to Qatar is a setback ahead of the 2015 Asian Cup but believes the side has learned some valuable lessons to help them improve in time for January.
Despite creating a handful of good chances, the Socceroos again mis-fired in front of goal and were punished by Khalfan Ibrahim’s goal on the hour to go down 1-0 in Doha on Wednesday morning (AEDST).
“It was disappointing because we didn’t get a reward to our play,” Cahill told Fox Sports.
“We have to reward our play. Collectively we have to be more ruthless in front of goal, including myself, and we’ll take this as a learning curve.
“We can make the mistakes now and learn from it and we have to look at it individually and collectively. It’s a little bit of a setback but for me it’s a bit about education and tonight we learned a lesson.”
Cahill denied this defeat – couple with the weekend’s 0-0 stalemate with UAE – had dented confidence but was a reminder the Socceroos won’t have it easy when hosting the Asian Cup.
“We’ve really got to stand up now and embrace what’s happening,” Cahill, the Socceroos greatest-ever goal-scorer said.
“We can make mistakes now, in the Asia cup we can’t.
“The frustration for us is we haven’t rewarded our good play. In the two games we’ve shown some great football but now we have to be more ruthless.”
Coach Ange Postecoglou has just one more match – against Japan in Osaka next month – to fine-tune his side ahead of the Asian Cup.
The Socceroos begin the tournament against Kuwait in Melbourne on January 9.