Ange Postecoglou conceded he was “embarrassed” by the condition of the ANZ Stadium pitch as Australia recorded a last-gasp 1-0 win over Greece on Saturday.
The game, which went ahead after a late inspection of the playing surface following heavy rain in Sydney, was settled by substitute Mathew Leckie’s stoppage-time strike.
But Socceroos coach Postecoglou’s post-match comments were dominated by a damning assessment of the pitch.
“I’ve said it and I’ll keep saying it; I’m embarrassed. I’m really embarrassed,” he said.
“We’re hosting an international country, we’re supposed to be the sporting nation of the world, the crowd were fantastic, I felt sorry for them. And we dish up that and I’m embarrassed. It’s just not good enough.
“We’re representing our country. That’s being beamed to Europe.
“I can tell you what the Greek players were saying coming off the pitch and they’re too polite to say it publicly.
“I’m embarrassed as coach of our national team that is what we dish up. We have world-class venues, I agree absolutely. World-class atmospheres. Our supporters are second to none. We love our sport.
“But in our game and our game alone, the pitch is actually an essential part of the spectacle. If that’s not then we’re cheating them.
“And above all, as a host, I’m embarrassed.”
Postecoglou will hope for better conditions when the two sides meet again in Melbourne on Tuesday.