Wednesday, 14 June 2017 –
And the Green and Gold believe they can go one better than the 2-2 draw in Kaiserslautern two years ago, when a late Lukas Podolski equaliser spared German blushes after Mile Jedinak’s superb free kick and James Troisi’s header gave Ange’s men the advantage.
MATCHING IT WITH THE WORLD CHAMPS
“It was a good game from us,” remembered Australian attacker Matthew Leckie, who’s recently joined Hertha Berlin.
“It’s never easy to play an away game and get a result, especially against a team like [Germany].
“They were world champions and we went there and got a draw and could have really won it.
“We know that when we play well, play our football and do what we do, we can get results against the best.
“That’s something that is very important for us – we believe now and that’s something that maybe at the beginning wasn’t there.
“Every single player in the team now believes that we can go all the way in this tournament,” he declared.
BRAGGING RIGHTS ON THE LINE IN OPENER
The first match of the tournament in Russia holds special significance for German-based Leckie who moved from Ingolstadt to Hertha Berlin last month.
“I think all three games are special – it’s always special to play against the best nations in the world, so I’m looking forward to all the games,” said Leckie.
“I’ve played five years in Germany so I’m very familiar with the players.
“I’m excited to get out there and I guess go back to Germany and say we beat them!
“We take each game one by one and Germany are first up so hopefully we can start off well.
“Obviously I’m a bit familiar with the players – who they are and what they do – but you never know what’s coming in a game.
“You can prepare to a certain extent but anything can happen on the day.
“There’s a lot of young players there – they haven’t taken their best team – but a lot of young talent who are going to be very motivated to perform for their nation.
“It’s definitely going to be tough but if we can play to our best and cancel out the small mistakes, we’ve got a chance,” he said.
LECKIE LEARNING NEW LINEUP
Within coach Ange Postecoglou’s re-jigged formation, Leckie’s role has changed slightly.
And the 41-cap Caltex Socceroo is still adjusting to the new landscape.
“It’s obviously a little bit different,” said Leckie.
“I start a little bit deeper but it gives me the opportunity to get into areas where sometimes the pressure isn’t there and I’ve got the game in front of me.
“We’re still working on it – it’s got much better and can only get better,” he said.
Source : Football Federation Australia