Giannou delighted to deliver in promising Socceroos cameo
He might remember little of the moment but Apostolos Giannou was still able to soak up the “amazing” feeling of his maiden AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ goal.
The Cyprus-based striker needed just eight minutes off the bench in Dubai to round out the Socceroos’ valuable 3-0 win over Palestine on Friday.
Giannou timed his leap well to nod in Chris Ikonomidis’ superb cross in the final minute of normal time, putting the seal on a result that lifted Australia to second in Group B.
Called into the squad as a late replacement for the injured Martin Boyle, the rangy Giannou brings a unique skillset to Graham Arnold’s attacking options and was pleased to showcase his ability.
“It felt amazing [to score],” the 28-year-old said.
“I don’t remember much! I just remember the ball going in the back of the net and after that just celebrating.
“It was great to get some time on the park and I’m very happy I made an impact. I really wanted to get some minutes on the field.
“I was hoping to prove myself and make an impact and thanks to Chris’ ball – that helped me a lot – I scored.”
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Giannou was among the players who got straight back into training on the team’s return to Al Ain as attention switched immediately to the upcoming date with Syria.
“Everyone was very happy with the performance [against Palestine], with the win and that everything we had been working on came off,” the centre-forward said.
“Now we just look forward to the next game, concentrating on that. It’s a very important game for us.
“We want to perform, we want to score a lot of goals, and we want to win so we can be in the next round.”
Australia, currently second in Group B, have a two-point lead on both Syria and fourth-placed Palestine ahead of the final round of group fixtures.