Ange Postecoglou: Australia’s celebrations will have to wait

Newcastle: Australia are keeping the champagne on ice, according to coach Ange Postecoglou, despite the Socceroos securing a place in the final of the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 with a 2-0 win over the United Arab Emirates in Tuesday’s semi-final.

Defenders Trent Sainsbury and Jason Davidson, with their first international goals, scored inside the first 15 minutes at a damp Newcastle Stadium as Australia secured a second consecutive AFC Asian Cup final appearance.

But having lost 1-0 to Japan after extra-time in the 2011 final, Postecoglou insists Australia are firmly focused on landing a maiden continental title on Saturday against Korea Republic at Stadium Australia.

“The players have worked very hard to get this spot and I want them to enjoy the week, it is going to be a great few days and it is all part of getting to a final, you need to embrace it and look forward to it,” said Postecoglou.

“But walking into the dressing room, there are no champagne corks being popped and they are already in recovery mode and doing the right things as they have done all tournament.

“It is a massive game. We made the final four years ago which was great for our nation. We have been in Asia for a while now and we haven’t won anything in the men’s game, but this gives us an opportunity at a national level to achieve something.”

Australia have now scored 12 goals in their five games, while only conceding twice, with the goals from Sainsbury and Davidson meaning 10 different players have now scored for Postecoglou’s side during the campaign.

“I think we have been very good the whole tournament. There haven’t been too many periods in any games where I have felt we’ve been dominated, so for the most part we have been pretty solid,” added Postecoglou.

“The players have got real belief now and they are getting the rewards, so hopefully that means they keep progressing and challenging themselves to be better.”

Saturday’s final also represents the chance for Australia to gain revenge for a 1-0 defeat by two-time winners Korea, who beat Iraq 2-0 on Monday in their semi-final, at the end of the group stage.

“We have to score. We didn’t score last time and we had a number of opportunities to do it, but we had a different line-up that day,” said Postecoglou.

“After that game we were quite pleased with the performance and we thought we dominated that game even though we didn’t win. There certainly wasn’t anything negative coming out of it from our perspective.”

Photo: WSG

Source : Asian Football Confederation Website

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