The current champions of the AFC Asian Cup couldn’t defend their title, as they were defeated 1-0 by 2019 hosts the United Arab Emirates.
Four years ago, Australia was celebrating the 2015 AFC Asian Cup championship at home.
And now, they have been eliminated of the Quarterfinals of the 2019 edition.
But for Australia’s coach Graham Arnold the team did well and he’s proud of them.
“Football can be a cruel sport,” Arnold said to SMH.
“It’s probably the only sport in the world that you can control possession, you can have much more possession, can have more chances on goal, you can spend more time in the opposition’s half and you can still lose.”
“We came here to the Middle East and we’ve performed very well,” he added.
“The young players, the wonderful experience that the younger players have had during this tournament and the number of changes that we made … it’s been a very enjoyable tournament, it’s been a great experience for all.”
“I’ll be honest – I think that we’ve done very, very well this tournament,” Arnold commented.
“With the amount of players that haven’t been capped – the whole frontline for the first three games had less than 10 games between all three of them … it’s been a wonderful experience for myself, for the staff, and the country should be very proud of them.”
“The style that we expect to play takes time,” he continued.
“You’ve got to remember I’ve been in charge only for four months. I’ve only had eight games with these boys. The style is completely different to what they’ve ever played. It will take time.”
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