Socceroo defender Trent Sainsbury has issued a warning to their rivals for the remainder of the Asian Cup after Australia blew away China in Brisbane on Thursday night.
“I don’t think anyone in the tournament can stay with us, stamina wise,” the Dutch-based defender told reporters after the game.
“We’re going to choke teams till they give in. It happened tonight.
“The first 20 minutes they [China] pushed up but they just couldn’t stay with us.”
The Socceroos killed off China with two brilliant goals later in the game in a devastating 16-minute spell on Thursday night.
A brace from superstar striker Tim Cahill was the catalyst for their Asian Cup quarter-final 2-0 at Brisbane Stadium.
Sainsbury added the half-time message was one of patience.
“Ange said treat it like a boxing match. You can’t win the game in the first five minutes.
“We had to keep going round for round and pick our moments. And then wear them down.”
He added: “The boys have 100% faith that we can win this thing but we’ll focus on the next game whoever that is, it might be UAE.”
Sainsbury had a chance in the first half from a set-piece to open the scoring. He powered his header over the bar.
“I think I got about 50 messages already saying, ‘ya plonker’. So I’ll have to reply to a few messages.”
Sainsbury’s new central defensive partner against China was Alex Wilkinson, in for suspended Matt Spiranovic.
The K-League star impressed in his first game of the Asian Cup alongside Sainsbury.
“Everyone has a job to do. Everyone can fill a position. So if you come in off the bench you do it 100%,” said Sainsbury.
“And in this squad you’re never guaranteed a spot. You never take anything for granted.”
The Socceroos head to Newcastle now for a semi final date with either Japan or UAE.
As for the focus on Tim Cahill and his extraordinary exploits, Sainsbury offered a cautionary note.
“It’s not Timmy Australia; it’s Team Australia.
“We’ve got Juric on the bench and he’s a big boy who can hold up the ball and score goals for us.
“So we’re not worried if we lose one player [like Cahill].”
The Socceroos will face Japan or UAE in the Semi-Finals of the AFC Asian Cup at Newcastle Stadium on Tuesday 27 January (8.00pm local kick off). Click Here to purchase tickets.
Milicic ‘extremely proud’ of Young Socceroos comeback
Young Socceroos boss Ante Milicic praised his side’s “strong Australian mentality” after they battled back to salvage a 1-1 draw in their AFC U-19 Championship opener against Korea Republic. Melbourne City’s Ramy Najjarine came off the bench to score a stunning 89th-minute equ
Update to Young Socceroos squad for AFC U19 Championship
Football Federation Australia (FFA) has confirmed on Friday a change to the Young Socceroos squad that is competing at the 2018 AFC U19 Championship in Indonesia. Young Socceroos coach Ante Milicic has brought in Melbourne City FC’s Connor Metcalfe to replace Western Sydney Wa
When are your Caltex Socceroos in action this weekend?
Awer Mabil will be among the Aussies taking Caltex Socceroos form back to the club grind as Aaron Mooy braces for a huge Premier League test this weekend. Meanwhile, there's a match not to be missed in Scotland that's set to showcase several of our overseas stars. Read on t