Striker Tim Cahill said a result in Friday’s clash with Oman will be key to Australia’s bid to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The Socceroos will go into their opening match of the final qualifying stage fresh from a 2-0 friendly defeat to Denmark last weekend.
And according to Cahill, getting at least a point from the match in Muscat is critical with such a short turnaround before they face fellow Asian Confederation heavyweights Japan in Brisbane on Tuesday.
“The mood’s all good (and) for us it’s about trying to get the right momentum going into this game because they’re a very good team,” Cahill said of Oman, who began their campaign with a 3-0 loss to Japan last weekend.
“They’ve had a bad result so they’re looking to probably come back with a better result.
“With conditions playing a part I think it’s going to be a slow game but for us a game where we have to try and break them down and get the breakthrough.
“I think it’s always crucial to get off to a flying start.
“You see Japan with a 3-0 win for them they’re sitting pretty.
“For confidence and momentum it’s key for everyone, especially for us the main thing is trying to get this three points and not losing the game.”
Much of the focus has been on the searing temperatures Australia will confront, with the forecast for match day estimated to be in the high 30s.
Holger Osieck’s men have spent this week acclimatising to the conditions and while most have admitted their struggles to adapt, Cahill has welcomed the test.
“For me it’s fantastic, I’m embracing this hot weather, I play in a pretty cold climate so I’m enjoying it,” he said.
“Every team has to come here and play so the main thing is to try and get the most out of it because if you can play in this weather you can play in anything.”
Cahill also believes his team can still salvage a result even if they go behind early, and is confident Osieck can engineer a comeback in such a scenario that would also result in the Omanis likely putting men behind the ball to protect the lead.
Veteran striker Archie Thompson echoed Cahill’s thoughts in terms of the need to start the campaign well and also spoke of how much he loves being in camp.
“I’ve been part of a lot of Socceroo camps and we’ve always had fun, being involved and being around the lads it’s a great feeling and like I said before it doesn’t feel like a team it feels more like a family,” Thompson said.
“I’m just happy to have any little time that I get these days with the Socceroos but I was rapt with my little bit of a cameo in Denmark and I’m hopefully hoping that again train well all week that I’ll be part of the team against Oman.
“To come to these sort of countries and to get any kind of result, just due to the severity of the conditions, would be a huge bonus, especially (as) you want to win your first game coming into this next phase of the World Cup.
“We’re looking forward to the game against Oman because we want to get some kind of result because we know we’ve got a tough one in a few days against Japan so it’s very important that we get off to some kind of result against Oman.”
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