Graham Arnold believes that Australia’s 3-0 victory over Palestine is evidence that the defending Asian Cup champions have learned from their defeat to Jordan.
Australia slumped to a shock 1-0 loss in their opening Group B match, but breathed life back into their campaign with a comfortable victory in Dubai on Friday.
Jamie Maclaren’s first international goal got things started, with Awer Mabil adding a second before Apostolos Giannou rounded off the win late on.
And Arnold, who has previously refuted suggestions that he had been arrogant heading into Australia’s opening game, insisted that his side’s hard work behind the scenes paid off.
“Palestine pretty much tried to play the same game plan as Jordan did,” Arnold told reporters.
“We obviously haven’t been that long together – the players didn’t have a long camp like some of the other countries, so it’s taken a bit of time to get things going.
“But as I said after the Jordan game, when you lose you learn. And we learned a lot from that day.
“We went onto the training pitch, we worked hard to fix that issue if the teams play quite defensive.”
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Australia’s fate now sits in their own hands, with a draw against Syria in their final Group B outing enough to secure passage through to the knockout stages, but Arnold is confident that his side will go from strength to strength having got their first points on the board.
“Now it’s all about the Syria game. We’ll get back on the training field, and recover well,” Arnold added.
“We’ll go into the Syria game with all guns blazing and expecting to win.
“We’ll get better and better as we go. There’s been a lot of changes in the team, a lot of changes in the staff, so we’re a new team, and will still grow.”
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