Bresciano warns of defensive-style mindset of Asian teams
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Australia veteran Mark Bresciano has warned his teammates to expect their Asian Cup rivals to use stifling defensive tactics to counter the positive, attacking style the Socceroos attempted at last year’s World Cup.
Australia predictably lost all three matches at the World Cup against tough group opponents Spain, Chile and the Netherlands, but used an expansive approach that won some plaudits.
“This time around we’re going to be coming up against other countries that play in a different style and are going to try and stop us playing that attacking football ourselves,” Bresciano said Wednesday. “We just have to go, from the first minute, 100 miles an hour and try and also wear them down physically.”
The Socceroos, who open the Asian Cup on Friday against Kuwait in Melbourne, held a tactical training session on Wednesday, closing the stadium to media and fans after the warm-up.
The host may be expected to comfortably defeat Kuwait, but are up against something of an unknown quantity, as the Gulf team fired its coach a month ago and have played only one game since under Tunisian-born manager Nabil Maaloul.
The Socceroos were hoping to scout Kuwait in its friendly against the United Arab Emirates on the Gold Coast last Saturday but the match was cancelled at the last minute due to dispute between the two national federations over whether the match could be videotaped.
Qatar-based Bresciano has played against sides coached by Maaloul and rates him as a shrewd leader.
“He has been a successful coach. He has coached in the same league that I am playing in,” he said. “His experience will probably help the Kuwaiti team because he has coached other national teams as well.”