Australia’s efforts to protect their Asia Cup trophy are in danger of coming to an early end, after a disappointing performance and 1-0 loss to Jordan in the opening day of the tournament on Sunday night.
Graham Arnold and his team appeared to be lacking creativity, especially in the first half, while the Jordanians were a constant threat on the counter, forcing more than one impressive save by Aussie goalkeeper Mat Ryan.
Things appeared to be a little bit better in the second, with more possession of the ball and more chances, however it was all for nought, as the Socceroos were unable to find that crucial goal that could have at least saved the one point from the game.
Now they will be going into Friday’s match against Palestine with nothing but the win as their target, as further losses could mean their early disqualification from the competition, in what could only be characterised as a potential shocker.
Arnold’s attempts to prepare the team in the best way possible however, seem to be obstructed by the numerous injuries that continue to show up on almost a daily basis.
After Aaron Mooy, Daniel Arzani, Martin Boyle (who didn’t travel to the Emirates) and Matthew Leckie (who is currently trying to overcome his injury in order to be available for the later stages of the Asian Cup), three new players appeared on the injury board.
More specifically, Tom Rogic, Andrew Nabbout and Josh Risdon are all dealing with problems that could potentially keep them out of Friday’s game.
After an examination by the doctors in Dubai, it was assessed that Tom Rogic had fractured a bone in his arm, however this does not appear likely to keep him off the pitch.
The situation seems a bit worse for the other two players who are dealing with groin injuries. In fact, Nabbout didn’t participate in the opening game either, giving his place to Jamie Maclaren, while Risdon was substituted at half time by Rhyan Grant.
With so many injuries, Arnold’s job may seem increasingly difficult, however the team are dedicated to giving their all at Friday’s game, both for themselves and for those who are absent to make a statement that the champions of Asia are still here.
The day two match versus Palestine will be held on Friday at 10.00pm at the Makthoum Bin Rashid Al Makthoum stadium in Dubai.