"There's a lot of emotion behind it" - Rowles reacts to maiden Socceroos goal

Kye Rowles spoke on scoring his first international goal and keeping yet another clean sheet following the Australia's 2-0 win over Lebanon.

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The defender netted the second in a tough match on Thursday night, with Rowles capitalising on a bouncing ball in the box, slicing it past the goalkeeper.

Rowles, who had his family and friends watching in the stands, was understandably emotional post-game, with the Socceroo dedicating his strike to his parents.

“There’s a lot of emotion behind the goal,” he said.

“Just to have all my family here, and Mum and Dad are doing it a bit tough at the moment, but to score in front of them hopefully makes them proud and puts a smile on their face.

“To do it in front of everyone - I don’t know - I’m lost for words, to be honest.”

Rowles also admitted the true meaning behind the strike - “I swiped at it - didn’t mean to slice it, I meant to smash it!” - but, as the saying goes, they all count the same, and his role in the victory came with more than his goal.


The Heart of Midlothian defender played in a less-familiar left-back role against Lebanon, but excelled despite usually operating in a more reserved position.

“It’s different going forward but defensively it’s all the same to me,” said Rowles on operating as Australia’s left-back on Thursday night.

“I’m just happy to be out there and do whatever job I’m needed to do for the team, just like all the boys in the squad.

“I’m just going to give it my all no matter what and where I am.”

Whether at left-back or in central defence, Rowles has excelled in a backline that has kept eight clean sheets in their last 10 matches, with the Socceroos conceding just three goals since October 18, 2023.

Rowles has been an integral part of that defence, starting in four of those no-goals conceded victories, and has credited the mentality created by Graham Arnold and his coaching staff for Australia’s defensive success.

“That’s one of the main things we set out for every game,” said Rowles on aiming for a clean sheet.

“If you keep a clean sheet then it puts you in good stead to win every game that you’re in."

“That was one of our main goals tonight (against Lebanon) and in previous games as well."

“If we go out and get a clean sheet then we’ve got full confidence that we will create the chances and take them.”

As part of the strong mentality, Rowles spoke about the confidence of the defensive line in both the system and each other to prevent chances.

“Teams are going to get chances,” he said.

“We’re very confident and comfortable with each other playing in periods in games where we’re soaking up pressure, whether it be a counter attack or spells that other teams have.

“Whoever’s in there, we know what role they’re going to do and we have full belief and trust in each other.”

However, the Socceroos goalscorer was critical of their defensive performance against Lebanon and stated Australia’s aims to improve on Tuesday in the return fixture at GIO Stadium, Canberra.

“Lebanon came out and they were very structured in the way they played,” he reflected.

“They were dangerous on the counter and created some handy chances as well.

“We know that we’ve got to tighten up in that area of the game and restrict them to what they were good at tonight.

“We’ll learn from tonight and hopefully put in a better performance on Tuesday.” 


Lebanon v Subway Socceroos
Tuesday, 26 March 2024
GIO Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 7.45pm AEDT
Tickets: Start from $15 Child, $20 Concession, $25 Adult, and $50 Family via Ticketek
Broadcast: 10 Bold, 10 Play and Paramount+