Oman coach: “Socceroos on the right way”

Oman coach Paul Le Guen praised the Socceroos saying they were virtually unrecognisable from the team Oman faced in a World Cup qualifier 22 months ago in Sydney.

The Socceroos steamrolled Oman on Tuesday night in their second group game of the Asian Cup winning 4-0 at Sydney’s Stadium Australia.  

Apart from some early pressure on the Aussie goal - with Mat Ryan pulling off an excellent diving save to keep the visitors out - the Omanis had no answer to the power and pace of the Socceroos.

It was a hugely impressive performance from a Socceroo side growing in confidence and style with each game at the Asian Cup.

“They were far better than us in each part of the game. We were not able to cope with such pace three days after our game against Korea,” Le Guen told reporters after the game.

“They were too good for us tonight. It’s because they have the power and the fitness. Of course they had four days recovery but even with three days [recovery] it could’ve been the same [result].

“That is why they are favourites for the competition.

“It was too much for us. We have to recognise this. Australia have more power on set pieces it’s an opportunity for them."

This Socceroo performance was vastly different to the one in March 2013 when they laboured to a 2-2 draw with Oman at the same venue under previous coach Holger Osieck.

“It seems to me they have power, they have legs, they have dynamism. It’s a good balanced team,” added the Frenchman, ironically once touted as a Socceroo coach in 2010.

“Some experienced players they have, but also some who have legs. They have refreshed the team and I think it’s a good thing.”

Oman is now eliminated from the Asian Cup while the Socceroos are now in the box seat to top Group A ahead of the quarter-finals.

Le Guen called for more professionalism in the Omani game if they are to move forward as a nation like Australia has done. 

“It was obvious during the World Cup even if they [the Socceroos] didn’t get the results expected they were quite good,” concluded Le Guen.

“They are on the right way.”

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