In the aftermath of their 0-0 draw with Oman in Muscat, the Qantas Socceroos have elaborated on the outrageous match conditions they were subjected to in the Omani capital.
MUSCAT: In the aftermath of their 0-0 draw with Oman in Muscat, the Qantas Socceroos have elaborated on the outrageous match conditions they were subjected to in the Omani capital.
Temperatures hovered around 40°C for much of Australia-s first showing of this crucial qualification phase - conditions that clearly took a toll on a no less determined Qantas Socceroos outfit.
“I think I was a kilo and a half overweight (at the start of the match) with fluids and ended up losing that,” said Carl Valeri post-match.
“I was 78 kilos and lost down to about 74.5kg.
“You lose a lot of body fluid and it-s very draining on you, but the medical staff, they-re fantastic and they look after us.”
Australia-s draw has seen them begin their final push for a place in Brazil in a solid fashion, with the other encounter on Match Day 2 seeing Japan romp home 6-0 against Jordan.
While the Group B table currently shows the Qantas Socceroos in third place, the real value of the point achieved in Muscat will be truly revealed later in the campaign, according to the Australian captain.
“We-re happy, watching from the TV or watching in an air-conditioned room, you really don-t understand what it was like to play out there,” said Lucas Neill.
“I-m very proud of the guys, the way they performed, the back room staff for getting all the players through the game today, a lot of science went into it and I-m really pleased that we-ve come away with some kind of reward.”
Striker Harry Kewell, who toiled hard up front for the visitors, warned that Australia-s other Group B rivals would struggle when they visit Oman later in the qualification phase.
“When you get put into the Asian groups, this is what you-ve got to compete against, not only the opposition, but the conditions as well,” said Kewell.
“We-re not going to be the only team that comes out here to play at 5 o-clock, I-m sure they-re going to do the same to all the other teams, it-s going to be difficult for them as well.”
The Qantas Socceroos host Japan in their first home fixture of the fourth stage of Asia-s FIFA World Cup qualification process on Tuesday, 12 June at Brisbane-s Suncorp Stadium. Kick off is at 8pm.