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Socceroos puzzled by slow Sochi start

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou will mount an inquiry into his side's poor opening stanza that led to a 3-2 defeat by Germany at the Confederations Cup.

Socceroos puzzled by slow Sochi start

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou will mount an inquiry into his side's poor opening stanza that led to a 3-2 defeat by Germany at the Confederations Cup.

Was it nerves? Too much respect for the world champions? Or something else entirely?

Send your answers to Russia on a postcard please, because Socceroos Ange Postecoglou is looking for the reasons behind his side's sluggish and costly start at the Confederations Cup.


It wasn't as swift as the 12-second goal conceded to Brazil at the MCG last week, but the fifth-minute opener by Germany was just as excruciating to watch.

For the opening half hour, Australia was completely at sea against the Germans and by Postecoglou's own admission, the Socceroos could have been three or four down at halftime.

The Socceroos would end up losing 3-2 after Tom Rogic's fine equaliser and a typically resilient second half when Tomi Juric also netted.

"In the first half we just couldn't get hold of it," Postecoglou said.

"We'll analyse it and see whether it was something structural or nerves or composure.

"The only way you can (improve) is to keep exposing them to this level.

"Eventually they grow as footballers. You can't prepare them for what they're going to face out there. The only way to do that is by playing at this level against the very best and hopefully that composure comes."

A personnel change at the break seemed to help.

Massimo Luongo, who gave away a penalty on a night to forget, was substituted for Robbie Kruse, allowing Aaron Mooy to sit deeper and have more time on the ball.

Postecoglou said he also encouraged his team to remember their pre-game confidence.

"As much as you try and set up the team to be brave in terms of where we want to defend, it's human nature that we fell back a little bit and probably gave them a little bit too much room and respect," he said.

"In the second half we said 'let's stick to our principles. Let's defend a little higher up the park as we planned to do and get our wide players right up into their back four.

"It seemed to work better."

Of course, another reason for Australia's slow start was that Germany were simply very good.

Joachim Low's next-gen side were fantastic going forward; a fact both coaches and halfitme substitute Robbie Kruse acknowledged after the match.

"They were very good in the first half. They're a great team ... abundant in Bundesliga stars and European stars," Kruse said.

"We don't know why the second half we were so good compared with the first half.

"We're in a competition out here and the next game if we don't get three points it's all over."

AAP


AAP



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