Football: Master the Dutch? Yes we can, say Aussies
Published on Jun 16, 2014 7:18 AM
SAO PAULO (AFP) - Mathew Leckie insisted on Sunday that Australia have the weapons to inflict a shock win on the mighty Netherlands despite their record 5-1 humbling of reigning world champions Spain.
The Socceroos lost 3-1 to Chile in their opening game but winger Leckie, one of their stand-out performers with goal-scorer Tim Cahill, was unfazed by the prospect of facing the Dutch.
After going 2-0 down within 15 minutes on Friday, Australia got one back before half-time and they were gunning for an equaliser for much of the game. Jean Beausejour got Chile’s third in injury time.
“We really want to get a result so we’re going to try and find the areas where we can hurt the Dutch team,” said Leckie, ahead of Wednesday’s Group B game in Porto Alegre.
“I think if we can play as well as we did that 70 minutes we’ll definitely have an opportunity to get a win.” While Australia lost in Cuiaba, in Salvador the Netherlands handed out the worst ever World Cup defeat for any reigning champions and Spain’s heaviest reverse in more than half-a-century.
But Leckie said Australia’s inexperienced line-up could spring a few surprises on the 2010 World Cup runners-up.
“I’m sure Chile didn’t expect such a hard game as what they got and Holland, obviously they’ve now seen that game and they’ll probably review it as well,” he said.
“But we’ll definitely hit them in areas they won’t expect and hopefully we can be clinical in the opportunities that we get and we can put a few goals away.” Outsiders Australia can take heart from a unbeaten record against the Dutch: two draws and a win in their three fixtures from 2006.
“What’s happened in the past doesn’t really matter. The whole team’s almost totally changed from when we’ve played Holland in the past,” said Leckie.
“We’ll go out there with our game plan and hopefully we can play as well as we did for that 70 minutes against Chile and I think we’ll definitely have our opportunities to win.”
He added: “We exposed Chile a lot on the wings, we have a lot of speed on the sides and we have Timmy (Cahill) that’s one of the best headers in the game.
“So if we can get into wide areas and get some good crosses in, I think it’s going to be tough for any side to stop us.”