Goal-scorer Trent Sainsbury says the Caltex Socceroos were their own worst enemy in their sloppy 2-1 loss to Greece at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night.
First half goals to Petros Mantalos and a 60-metre screamer from Ioannis Maniatis put the visitors in control, and while Sainsbury pulled one back after the break, Greece were worthy winners.
Assessing the performance, Sainsbury said the Socceroos’ distribution was poor and they couldn’t handle the visitors' high tempo.
“We made it hard for ourselves forcing a few passes, trying to push a few balls into the midfield and when it’s up at someone’s knees, it’s not easy,” the 24-year-old defender told Fox Sports.
“At the end of the day they were pressing us very hard and putting us under a lot of pressure.
“We were our own worst enemy…they made it very difficult for us tonight and deservedly got the win.”
The defeat comes at the end of a huge 11 days for the Socceroos, which included a hard-fought loss to England at the end of May, followed by back-to-back games with Greece.
Asked if tiredness played a part in their lacklustre display in Melbourne, Sainsbury said: “At the end of the day we’re still human, we’re not robots and we’re still going to feel a bit of fatigue.
“But they have come all the way from Greece as well. I don’t think fitness is a major issue for us, we just never found the rhythm.
He added of the Dodoni Series: “The first 15 minutes of the first game we came out on fire and they did the same tonight.“They wanted us to go through the middle and were closing off our pockets, we didn’t have much width.”