Australia coach Ange Postecoglou says his team is good enough to beat anyone in Asia and he is not worried who they draw in the next round of World Cup qualifying.
Postecoglou was full of confidence after the Socceroos dismantled Harry Redknapp’s Jordan 5-1 in Sydney on Tuesday to win Group B of Asian qualifying, meaning they enter the third and final phase to make the 2018 tournament in Russia.
“We’re growing as a team. Twelve months ago everyone is saying ‘Who’s going to score apart from Timmy (Cahill)?’” said Postecoglou.
“Well Timmy’s still scoring, yet we’re getting multiple goal-scorers from all over the place.”
Veteran Cahill hit a brace against Jordan to take his international tally to 47 from 89 appearances, while home-based midfielder Aaron Mooy, Celtic’s Tom Rogic and QPR youngster Massimo Luongo also got on the scoresheet.
Postecoglou said he was pleased with how much depth and quality the Asian champions had developed as they gun for their fourth successive World Cup.
“People are really worried about rankings and seedings and who we’re going to get,” he said of the draw on April 12 for the third round of Asian qualifying, which will determine two groups of six teams each.
“I mean, I don’t get it. Just watch what the team’s doing, that should tell you enough.
“We’re not going to be worried about who we get in our group. We’ve had some tough groups in every competition that we’ve been in.
“We had a tough group in the (last) World Cup, we had (South) Korea in our group in the (2015) Asian Cup.
“We’ve had Jordan -- who, don’t forget, finished fifth in the last Asian World Cup campaign in the play-off spot -- in our group again. And we’ve overcome all those things.”
China-based Cahill was equally optimistic, and excited by the team’s prospects.
“We’ve come a long way in football but more importantly since winning the Asian Cup (last year) we’ve kept the momentum where we still are the strongest team in Asia and we’ve proved it now in this first stage of the qualifying stages,” he said.
The Socceroos needed patience to prise open the combative Jordanians, but once the home side scored their opener in the 24th minute it was one-way traffic.
Former West Ham, Tottenham and Southampton manager Redknapp, who was hired by Jordan’s Prince Ali to help his country’s World Cup qualifying bid, admitted his team were outplayed.
“They were a different class to us, they were a much better and stronger team than we were,” he said.
“So it was difficult, they had a bit too much quality and they looked a lot fitter than us, they were sharper ... there was a big gulf in class.”
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