One moment of fatigue lost us Asian Cup – Australia’s Neill

Australian national team captain Lucas Neill feels it was one moment that lost the Socceroos last night’s Asian Cup final to Japan.

The 1-0 scoreline, which favoured the Blue Samurai, should have looked a lot different with the amount of chances the Socceroos had but in football, if you don’t take your chances, then it will more than likely come back to haunt you.

And that’ exactly what happened when Japanese substitute Tadanari Lee managed to lose his marker, David Carney, before volleying home a nice cross from Yuto Nagatomo on the left flank to clinch victory for Alberto Zaccheroni’s men.

It was this moment which lost the match for Australia according to Neill who was remaining positive despite the defeat.

"Mixed feelings, proud, disappointed," he said.

"We always felt in control of the game even though we gave away a lot of possession to Japan it never felt they were really going to hurt us.

"In our defence we felt solid and strong and then one lapse in concentration and maybe a moment of fatigue in extra time, it's gifted them the goal."

Coach Holger Osieck concurred with Neill, saying that this one incident changed the face of the game.

“It was late into extra time and there was fatigue and it was probably the only positional mistake that we made,” he said.

“It was a very costly one and I don't want to blame anyone. It was definitely not our regular defensive positioning but to have a go at any of the players is inappropriate.

“We had six games in an intense tournament and twice we had to go into extra time so if there was no fatigue, then the players must be robots.”

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