The opening weak of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 witnessed defending Champions Australia lose to a rather strong Jordan side. Hence, their upcoming match against Palestine will be a make or break opportunity for Australia if they want to continue in the tournament.
Australia may be the defending Champions but head coach Graham Arnold is far from immersing himself in the glory of Australia’s performance in the past. Although he has previously led the Australian team back in 2007, he believes that his team can no longer capitalize on their previous form. In fact, he even inferred that winning the AFC Asian Cup in 2015 has little to do with the team’s current form.
“Four years ago is a long time, and it’s a completely different team to what we had four years ago. Four years ago it was played in Australia on home soil, this time its here in the UAE, with a totally different team. It’s a great memory for Australian football, of course, but now it’s all about the moment. We handed the trophy back the day before the tournament started before the UAE vs Bahrain match, and the trophy is there to be won again.”
Although this will be the first time when Australia and Palestine will lock horns, the latter are not being take lightly by Arnold. He wants his players to put up a good fight and not underestimate their opponents.
“We expect a great reaction from the players. The boys are going into this match with a lot of confidence, a lot of belief and expectation to win. Something that Australians also have is a great attitude to fight. Palestine will be aggressive and its important that we win the battle.