A buoyant Ange Postecoglou says there will be no slowing down by the Caltex Socceroos on the road to Russia and challenged their group opponents to try and stop them.
Australia maintained their perfect start to the AFC's final phase of FIFA World Cup qualifying making it two wins from two after beating UAE 1-0 in the heat of Abu Dhabi on Wednesday morning (AEST).
The result has the Caltex Socceroos on top of the group with six points, ahead of their next opponents Saudi Arabia on goal difference.
In energy-sapping conditions, it was a confident and mature display from the Asian champions and Postecoglou declared they won’t be taking their foot off the gas.
“Every game we play that’s what our opponents have to expect and it’s up to them to try and stop us,” the Socceroos boss said afterwards.
“We’ll set our stall and play our football and if the opposition is good enough to stop us then good luck to them. But we’ll certainly approach the game [against Saudi Arabia] the same.
“We respect every opponent we play and we prepare the same way and we’ll be ready for the next game,” he added.
Tim Cahill proved to be Australia’s hero again, coming off the bench in the second half to score the winner from Brad Smith’s excellent cross.
But Postecoglou showered praise on his entire side for showing the character and resolve to keep going despite the tough conditions.
“It’s easy for me to talk about playing a certain way but I’m not out there doing it.
“They are the ones that have the courage to go to their limits and play the kind of football we want them to play,” Postecoglou said.
“We took the game to them, we made them sit back. They [UAE] were looking to waste time, they would have been happy with a point rather than us but we kept going right until the end, we got the goal we deserved and justifiably go away with three points.”
Asked about match-winner Cahill, who now has 48 international goals to his name, Postecoglou said: “He’s always there. He’s a willing participant in what we’re doing and he’s an important part of what we’re doing.
“He knew coming into camp he was nowhere near fit enough to play any decent amount of time. He was there in case we needed him and he capitalised tonight on the other boys working really hard for the first hour and a bit to create that opportunity for him.
“On a night when we were missing our skipper [Mile Jedinak], his experience was important and [Mark Milligan] was immense tonight. That kind of thing makes a big difference.”
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