'We'll beat them in Sydney': Socceroos coach confident of taking down Canada
Socceroos coach Eddie Thomson is confident Australia can win their do-or-die FIFA World Cup 1994 play-off clash against Canada in Sydney.
Thomson is attempting to coach Australia to its second ever World Cup and first in 19 years. He is certain the current team is the country’s best chance yet to qualify for a FIFA World Cup - even after the 2-1 defeat in the first leg of the play-off.
“We’re a different team and better overall squad to the one that failed against Israel in 1989,” Thomson said.
When the two teams played in Edmonton it was the first time the sides clashed in 69 years. With the match being on home soil Thomson guarantees the Socceroos will give an improved effort against the Canadians for the return clash.
“I’m confident we’ll do better in Australia," said Thomson.
"We can’t wait to get them to Sydney, and we’ll beat them there.”
Thomson also joked that he was prepared to be his house that the Socceroos would overcome Canada.
After trailing at half time in the last leg, Canada implemented different tactics by spreading the ball wide in order stretch and hold the Australian defence. Thomson knows that Canada will be hard to overcome, and Australia cannot rush while in possession.
“The Canadians are a harder working team… We have to be patient,” he said.
Thomson is confident that he has a team that will cause many problems for Canada in the attacking third.
“There is a lot of strike power in our team, especially Robbie Slater and Frank Farina who can cause the Canadians a lot of problems.”
“This team is very attacking and with a lot of mobility and wants to win.”
Thomson has signalled that Australia needs to be more vigilant during set pieces if they are wanting to progress in the qualification process due to giving up two goals in the first leg to set pieces.
He said: “Losing goals on corner kicks was stupid, they were two bad goals.”
Following the loss in the first leg on the 31st of July, Australia has made two changes.
Experienced midfielder Paul Okon sustained an injury at training, allowing experienced sweeper Milan Ivanovic to come into the side. Tony Vidmar also joins the team at right full-back in the place of Milan Blagojevic.
Head Coach: Eddie Thomson
Mark Schwarzer (GK), Mehmet Durakovic, Milan Blagojevic, Ned Zelic, Alex Tobin, Tony Vidmar, Frank Farina, Aurelio Vidmar, Graham Arnold (C), Jason van Blerk, Robbie Slater, David Mitchell, Paul Wade
Head Coach: Bob Lenarduzzi
Craig Forest (GK), Mark Watson, Mike Sweeney, Randy Samuel, Colin Miller (C), Lyndon Hooper, Nick Dasovic, Domenic Mobilio, Alex Bunbury, Dale Mitchell, Carl Valentine, Grant Needham
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