Viduka praises Oman heroes Cahill and Schwarzer
Socceroos captain Mark Viduka has hailed the efforts of team mates Tim Cahill and Mark Schwarzer ahead of Friday’s crucial Group A encounter against Iraq at the Rajamangala National Stadium.
BANGKOK: Socceroos captain Mark Viduka has hailed the efforts of team mates Tim Cahill and Mark Schwarzer ahead of Friday-s crucial Group A encounter against Iraq at the Rajamangala National Stadium.
Viduka-s praise comes after Cahill and Schwarzer-s standout performances against Oman last Sunday.
The English Premier League based pair have both been integral members of the renaissance of Australian football in recent years and were again the heroes of the Socceroos- 1-1 draw with Oman - with Cahill providing the last gasp equalising goal on the back of some breathtaking stops by Schwarzer to keep Australia in the contest.
Viduka noted the contribution of the pair ahead of Australia-s meeting with Iraq in Bangkok in two days time, where the Socceroos will again be hoping for some heroics from their in-form duo as they chase top honours in Group A.
"Towards the end of the game, I didn-t think the goal would come," said Viduka.
"It was great for Tim to come on and save us and also Mark Schwarzer, you can-t forget Mark Schwarzer - he kept us in the game and made some unbelievable saves."
Viduka also referenced sometime strike partner John Alosi, who looked lively after replacing Mile Sterjovski for the second half.
Aloisi significantly boosted the Socceroos' scoring options upon joining Viduka up front, with Harry Kewell and Mark Bresciano also threatening on the flanks.
Viduka has started only one match alongside Aloisi in the past four years.
Perhaps tellingly, that match against the Solomon Islands was won by Australia 7-0, with Viduka scoring two of his eight international goals.
Viduka stated that with Aloisi by his side, his task against Oman was 'made a lot easier', and that a starting place for Australia's all-time second most prolific marksman was not out of the question against Iraq.
Meanwhile, Viduka re-instated the view of the entire Australian team - that the conditions they were exposed to against Oman were far beyond what they had anticipated.
"It was very difficult out there, to be honest, a lot of us were struggling out there, but we-re going to have to deal with those conditions, that-s what they are and hopefully we-ll be better prepared against Iraq," said Viduka.
"We struggled under conditions, physically, and they hit us on the break - they were very physically fit, it could have went very badly for us.
"I hope that the Oman game is a lesson for us and I hope it-s a good kick up the back side."
The Socceroos- Asian Cup campaign continues on Friday, 13 July against Iraq at Bangkok -s Rajamangala National Stadium. Kick off is at 5.20pm local time (8.20pm AEST).
Fox Sports will feature live and exclusive coverage of the match from 8pm AEST. Click here for the entire Fox Sports broadcast schedule.