Thursday, October 19, 2017 | ePaper

Aussies in Confed Cup 'to win it' despite Brazil drubbing

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AFP, Sydney :
Australia departed for the Russia and FIFA's Confederations Cup Wednesday insisting they can still win it, despite a crushing 4-0 demolition by Brazil in a lopsided warm-up.
The Socceroos were thrashed by the South Americans in a friendly in Melbourne on Tuesday, but coach Ange Postecoglou preferred to look on the bright side.
"For us as I said, this game was preparation for what we're going to face," he said. "We needed to do some things in terms of getting some game time into players and we got that. We'll be ready for the first game."
The Socceroos held the five-times World Cup winners to 1-0 at half-time after conceding just 12 seconds from the kick-off, but the home defence's frailties were exposed by three second-half goals.
It was a sobering farewell for Australia, who face Germany in their opening Confederations Cup game on June 19, then Cameroon and Chile.
Postecoglou said despite the high quality opposition, his team could be successful. "We want to win it, mate," he told reporters. "I know after last night that probably sounds ridiculous, but I took this job with the intent of being as ambitious as I possibly can for Australian football.
"When you're ambitious you have spectacular failures and spectacular successes.
"I'm not going to coach in between, just notch up a stint for my country as a coach flatlining. Let's go there and see what we can do."
They head into the tournament without skipper Mile Jedinak, who withdrew from the squad ahead of the Brazil game with a groin injury.
The Aston Villa midfielder pulled up sore after Australia's 3-2 World Cup qualifying win over Saudi Arabia last week and has been replaced by Austria-based midfielder James Jeggo.
"He has had a tough period since Christmas with his groin and we all agree it is in the best long-term interest of Mile and the Socceroos that he has a break to ensure he is ready for the new season," said Postecoglou.
A replacement captain has yet to be announced, although veterans Tim Cahill or Mark Milligan would be obvious choices.
Cahill, who is desperate to play in his fourth World Cup next year, said the Socceroos need to embrace the Confederations Cup and build on what the side has achieved.
"It's about the experience of what we've done in the last two-and-half-years and to build on it," he said.
"The Confed Cup is where we really put it into practice and make a mark on the world stage.
"There's a lot of great teams in the competition and we know it's going to be tough."

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