Mile Jedinak has explained how Australia like to go at teams from the outset and questioned whether Thailand will be able to keep them at bay in their 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ qualifier on Tuesday.
“At any level, but particularly at this World Cup qualification in this region, it’s about trying to stay in games,” said the Socceroos captain. “The longer you can stay in games and keep it close, everyone’s a chance of getting a goal and holding on to that lead.
“We like to take it to the opposition at the beginning. Whether they have the discipline to cope remains to be seen. That will be the test, not only to maintain that, but are they able to hold out?
“It’d be nice to get an early goal. If we don’t it’s about applying the pressure then more than likely the goal will come.”
The earliest Australia scored in their first four third-round matches was on the stroke of half-time, courtesy of Trent Sainsbury’s equaliser against Saudi Arabia. From those matches they grabbed eight points, which has Ange Postecoglou’s side second in Group B, two points behind Saudi Arabia and one above Japan. As the Socceroos face rock-bottom Thailand in Bangkok on Matchday 5, the Japanese and Saudi do battle in Saitama.
Australia had only competed in one World Cup until 2006, but are now striving to qualify for the fourth time in succession. Their best performance at the tournament came at Germany 2006, when a thrilling 3-1 comeback victory over Japan helped them reach the Round of 16, where they gave eventual champions Italy a serious fright before going down 1-0.