Socceroos must be smarter: Elrich

Socceroos defender Tarek Elrich says Australia will have to learn to play smarter in difficult away legs throughout Asia after last week’s disappointing 2-0 defeat against Jordan.

The Socceroos were consigned to their first loss in nine games in Amman, with Ange Postecoglou’s side punished for some costly errors against a spirited Jordanian outfit. 

Jordan have now leapfrogged Australia into top spot in Group B of FIFA Russia World Cup 2018™ qualification, leading on 10 points with the Socceroos just behind on nine. 

Ange: Socceroos ‘lost control’ of game

“For me, against Jordan away, I don’t think as a team we played to our capacity. We made mistakes at critical times in the game,” said Elrich who was back in training with Adelaide United on Monday.

“Conceding early in the second half away from home against any team is hard.

“They start to waste time, they take the sting out of the game, we just made the job difficult for ourselves.”

Tarek Elrich on the ball against Jordan.

Having surrendered top spot in their group, Elrich was confident Australia would see a different side in the capital next month as the Socceroos bid to qualify for a fourth consecutive FIFA World Cup appearance. 

 “Ange spoke to us as a team, obviously he wasn’t happy with the result, I don’t think any coach would be. In saying that we know what we need to improve on for the national team.

“I don’t think there’s major problems with the goals we conceded, it’s just a lapse of concentration and they caught us on the counter and we know that.

“We still controlled the game and created chances and when you’re away from home you’ve got to take them.”