After the Socceroos’ dramatic win over Kuwait at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Football Channel Asia spoke to various players to get their thoughts on tonight’s proceedings.
Massimo Luongo (Australia)
“For myself obviously as you said, a goal and an assist, but more important for the team – going a goal down and coming back shows how much heart, how much spirit and how much togetherness we have as a team, and it showed the way we played and the result.
“I couldn’t get the right shift in the game, you know positionally where would be the best for me, but the boss [Postecoglou] said if you’re going forward if you’re going to be positive, or if in doubt go forward, be positive and that’s the best thing I could’ve done. It didn’t work out for the first five or 10 minutes but I kept at it, even the other boys kept at it and it worked out in the end.”
Tim Cahill (Australia)
“It was unfortunate to concede the goal when we did. We knew the Kuwaitis were a good team, they hit on transition, but it’s the way we reacted and responded; a full house, people expecting a good performance, and I’m just really proud of the boys. It’s a great start to a big tournament.”
“I think Mass (Luongo) and Matty Ryan were exceptional. You look at Matty Ryan, the saves he made at the critical times, it’s him maturing as a goalkeeper and as a player and obviously in these games there’s going to be long spells where he’s not going to have much to do and when he did have to do something he pulled off two goal scoring opportunities. So I’m really proud of those two.”
Ivan Franjic (Australia)
“To be involved in three goals is something special, especially in front of family and friends. I’m very happy I could contribute.
“I want to play it quick, and as you can see our tempo was quick, our throw ins were quick, so I sprinted to the ball and Mass made a great run and I played him, then he did some razzle dazzle and cut it to Timmy and scored.”
Tomi Juric (Australia)
“There’s a lot of quality in this side and I don’t think people quite realise that. And it’ll take a little bit of time for people to see that, but give us a little bit of time throughout this tournament and I’m pretty sure everyone will understand that there’s a lot of talent and a lot of goals to come from everybody in this team.”
Bader Al-Mutawa (Kuwait)
“After we scored, we [dropped] back too much in defence and we let the Australian national team play how they wanted. I think because of that reason we lost the game.
“Now we have a chance. We didn’t go out, we have two games in our hands to improve more, to play more, to take six points, and play more forward than this game to change the picture of the national team.”