Goalkeeper Mat Ryan has warned the Socceroos must find a quick-fix for their struggles defending set pieces or risk an early exit from the AFC Asian Cup.
The Socceroos made the perfect start to their quest of winning the tournament on home soil after a crushing 4-1 disposal of Kuwait in Melbourne on Friday night.
But things started badly for Ange Postecoglou’s side, going behind after just eight minutes after failing to deal with a corner from the visitors.
“It’s frustrating, especially playing against opposition like this who like to slow the play down,” an honest Ryan told reporters on Saturday.
“It’s been mentioned to us many times in camp and it’s difficult against teams like this when you do fall behind because they have that bit of quality still too punish you.
“Now we have to grow up, learn from it and not let it be an ongoing thing. If we keep doing that at this tournament we’re going to find it difficult to keep progressing.
“Hopefully there’s a quick fix for that and I’m sure there will be with the analysis we do here and it will get sorted.”
While there was plenty to like about the Socceroos performance and their character to come from behind and score four goals, there’s no doubt they need to improve defensively to go deep in the tournament.
Ryan said the manner in which they conceded the first goal was disappointing and came down to just a lack in communication and organization.
“We had studied that one of (Kuwait’s) boys who was supposed to come up (Matthew) Spiranovic was meant to mark him but he actually stayed back and another player had come up in his place,” Ryan said.