Socceroos captain Lucas Neill wants Australia's football fans to turn out in support of their team as they chase a World Cup place.
Having led the Socceroos superbly in the 1-1 draw with Japan, captain Lucas Neill wants Australia's football fans to turn out in support of their team as they chase a World Cup place.
The Socceroos were unlucky not to claim three points against Japan in Saitama on Tuesday, with Tommy Oar's goal cancelled out by a late penalty from the boot of Keisuke Honda.
It did not take away from a resolutely brave performance by Australia, however, with crucial games against Jordan [June 11] and Iraq [June 18] set to decide the fate of Holger Osieck's men.
"Before the game, you'd take a point," Neill told Fox Sports, with his country moving to second in Group B.
"But the way the game panned out, I think we were outstanding tonight.
"We probably just deserved to get the three points. It's a bitter pill to swallow to concede a penalty in the death after such a terrific, disciplined, defensive performance."
Neill then called on fans to get behind the Socceroos in their final two qualifiers: "We need Australia behind us. We need a big crowd. Look at this crowd tonight - they kept that team going and probably gave them that goal in the end," he said.
"We need that in Australia. Australia needs to go to Brazil. We need our fans."
Oar's 82nd-minute goal had a touch of fortune to it, with his cross stealing over the head of Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima.
But it was the luck the FC Utrecht attacker deserved for a hard-running performance and his refusal to lose his feet in the build-up.
"It's always a nice feeling to score a goal, and particularly the first one for the national team in such an important game," he told Fox Sports.
"So yeah, I'm very happy."