Brisbane Roar captain Matt McKay was arguably the best player on the pitch in Australia’s 6-0 demolition job of Uzbekistan in Doha on Tuesday night.
The 27-year old was the architect on the left side of midfield for the Socceroos, supplying three assists as they triumphed in the semi-final, proving that A-League players can mix it at international level.
Australia coach Holger Osieck has said all along that if the player is in form he will be given a chance, going against the policy of former national team boss Pim Verbeek, who preferred to use those playing in Europe.
And his way of thinking has proved beneficial as McKay has been a revelation in the 2011 Asian Cup, first filling in for David Carney at left-back before replacing the suspended Brett Emerton in the quarter-final win over Iraq and then holding the Blackburn Rovers man out of the starting line-up for the Uzbek clash.
Osieck told Fox Sports after the victory that McKay had gained his spot over bigger names through hard work and simply playing well.
“As I said, it’s not about names, it’s about the performance,” he said. “It’s not about A-League or playing abroad and Matty is a perfect example and he is proof of what I’ve said, ‘If the guys in Australia play well, they play in the national team’, it’s as simple as that.”
McKay has previously been linked with a move away from current league leaders the Roar, even going to China for a trial, and his performances in this tournament are sure to see his stocks rise even further.