THE stunning defeat of the defending champion Socceroos at the AFC Asian Cup has sent shockwaves through the camp and leaves the team desperate for victory in Friday night’s second pool game.
Former Bathurst-based player Rhyan Grant came on at the start of the second half against Jordan – earning his third national cap in the process – and although he made some dangerous moves down the right wing his side couldn’t claw back the 1-0 deficit.
Friday’s game against Palestine takes on a whole new tone because of the defeat, which has left Australia at the bottom of their pool following the nil-all draw between Palestine and Syria.
“Obviously it’s not the result we wanted but we’re still very positive after that first game. We’re confident that we can go out there and perform,” Grant said on Wednesday.
“The first taste of tournament footy was pretty cool and something I’ll never forget. It’s great to be a part of it and the squad we’ve got here is unreal.”
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Injuries have hit the Socceroos hard following the loss but it could give Grant the opportunity to land a starting spot.
Fellow right back Josh Risdon is likely to miss the upcoming game due to his groin injury that led to Grant’s substitution.
Matthew Leckie still looks unlikely to start before the knockout stages and Andrew Nabbout is nursing a groin injury of his own.
The team are still awaiting word on whether Tom Rogic can line up after breaking a bone in his left hand during the game against Jordan.