Sport

High-pressure game suits Aussies

KEY MAN: Matthew Spiranovic in action against Kuwait.
KEY MAN: Matthew Spiranovic in action against Kuwait. Vince Caligiurigetty IMAGES

SOCCEROOS defender Matthew Spiranovic says attack will be the best form of defence against South Korea in Brisbane tomorrow night.

Australia has conceded just one goal and scored eight from its first two Asian Cup matches, but the Koreans, ranked 31 places above the Socceroos, will provide the first real test of the tournament

"The focus on the defence just hasn't been on the back four. It starts with the players at the front, and that's been our biggest strength," Spiranovic said.

"We've put teams under a lot of pressure."

Spiranovic and central defensive partner Trent Sainsbury let in a sloppy goal against Kuwait in the tournament opener, allowing Ali Hussain Fadhel to score with a diving header from a corner.

But the 26-year-old said his combination at the back with Sainsbury, who now plies his trade with PEC Zwolle in the Dutch Eredivisie, was getting better with each game.

Spiranovic was recently linked with a move to English Premier League heavyweight Liverpool after catching the eye of Reds manager Brendan Rodgers during his time in charge of Swansea City.

Another Socceroo linked to Liverpool has been keeper Mat Ryan, the Club Brugge custodian just named Belgian Pro League goalkeeper of the year for the second consecutive time.

Liverpool is one of several EPL clubs which has sent scouts to the Asian Cup where Ryan has been in outstanding form.

Brugge's former sporting director, Arnar Gretarsson, recently said he was almost certain Ryan would play in either the EPL or Bundesliga next season.

Meanwhile, Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou is expected to take no chances with injured captain Mile Jedinak against South Korea. The midfielder has no structural damage to the ankle he injured against Kuwait, but is likely to be rested for the finals.

Topics:  asian cup, australia, socceroos, south korea, sport




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