Wilkinson set to face China after Spiranovic suspension

Socceroo coach Ange Postecoglou has confirmed Alex Wilkinson will slot into the centre of defence for Australia’s Asian Cup quarter-final against China after Matthew Spiranovic picked up a yellow card in the 1-0 loss to Korea Republic on Saturday night in Brisbane.

After the Socceroos’ Western Sydney Wanderers FC star picked up his second yellow of the Asian Cup during the group game loss, K-League based Wilkinson is now set to play his first game in the tournament on Thursday against the Chinese, who have finished top of Group B and will face Australia on Thursday night. 

Wilkinson is set to partner Trent Sainsbury in the centre of the Aussie defence. 

Postecoglou said he was disappointed with the loss against South Korea, saying his team switched off to concede and couldn’t finish when needed.

“The keeper made some good saves. They were very desperate in their defending and credit to them,” he told Fox Sports.

“From our perspective, when we create that many chances, hopefully the next game we’ll put them away.

“I’m disappointed that we couldn’t get the result that we needed. We conceded a really poor goal where we switched off momentarily.

“After that we created enough chances to win the game. We just lacked that cutting edge up front."

Aussie substitute Tim Cahill, who was rested from the starting XI in favour of Tomi Juric, said Korea were due credit for being clinical when it mattered most.  

“Overall they took their chance, we didn’t," he said.