Massimo Luongo is confident of being in top shape when Australia plays China in the Asian Cup quarter-finals despite playing out his first full Socceroos performance at a steamy Brisbane Stadium on Saturday.
The Socceroos went into the match only needing a draw to top the group, but the Australians could not find a way past the resilient Korean defence and goalkeeper, who pulled off some exceptional saves throughout the match.
New York Red Bulls striker Cahill agreed with Australia coach, Ange Postecoglou’s claims that the team switched off at vital times throughout the match, but praised by the spirited performance by his teammates.
Cahill told reporters, “ I think we can reflect well. Even though we lost, the scoreline doesn’t reflect the full picture. Overall when you watch the game, and I watched the game last night, we did really penetrate them and moved the ball well. We went for it. We’re not going to sit back and in the second half they didn’t know what hit them. ”
“ But if you don’t score it’s going to look worse than it looks… just a bit of quality in the final ball and we know we’re going to hurt teams. Unfortunately one lapse in concentration and you concede a goal. ”
Everton legend Cahill assured that the team are recovering well after the sweltering conditions experienced in Brisbane on Saturday night.
“ We’ve recovered really well. We’ve got a really fit squad. We’ve been preparing weeks before in this [type] of heat in Melbourne. We’re definitely not going to make excuses about the weather. We’re a fit young team and we know we can back up games. ”
The Australian forward stated that the team remain focused and are ready for the quarter final match-up against an up-and-coming Chinese side.
“ For us it’s about keeping switched on. We know what we can do and that one loss won’t make us take a step back. ”
“ Maybe it’s fate, maybe we are meant to play China in the quarter-finals and stay in Brisbane. ”
“ It’ll certainly be one of the most watched games globally and in Asia. ”
“ If we can press them and get in their faces and run them into the ground and play the football we know, then we’ll definitely cause them problems. ”
“ We will respect them, but I want us to focus on us. ”
China coach Alain Perrin has predicted a “very difficult” test when his side face host nation Australia in theAsian Cup quarter-finals.
The Socceroos face China on Thursday in a do or die quarter final encounter.