The Australian camp believe their young players did enough in their 2-0 win against New Zealand’s All Whites to give head coach Graham Arnold selection headaches ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Having used 31 players in the two-match friendly series with New Zealand, Arnold now has to select the squad he’ll take to Qatar for Australia’s World Cup campaign.
Here’s how the Australians reacted after the game at Eden Park:
Mitch Duke, scorer of the first goal:
“Graham Arnold has some hard decisions now.
“I’m 31 now and this is my only opportunity to be on the plane to a World Cup and play a part,
“That was my motivation. I feel like I did OK to win more opportunities and hopefully I get the final selection.”
Graham Arnold about the second goal:
“It’s fantastic. He hit the shot (that led) to the handball, so it would have gone in anyway, so that’s probably why he thought he should take the penalty because he deserved to score a goal.”
Jason Cummings, scorer of the second goal:
“The ball fell to me, and I caught it well. It was going in and the boy handballed it, so I was fuming.
“I thought ‘I’ve got to step up and take this (penalty)’. Fair play to the lads and (teammate) Riley (McGree). They asked me if I wanted to take it, and I said ‘of course’.
“It’s a striker’s dream … to step up, take a penalty and put it in the back of the net, not a problem.”
Socceroos captain Mat Leckie:
“Overall the playing group is a very inexperienced team in terms of caps
“But you see how much energy these young boys have, and we need them to perform at this level because they’re the type of players that are going to be the future for us.
“I’m sure he (Arnold) has got a lot of thinking to do over the next couple of months. I think this camp’s been great. A lot of new boys. And they’ve been very professional and showed that they want to be here.”
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