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Desperate Socceroos won't go "kamikaze" in search of goal rush

Soccer

The Socceroos need goals galore from next week’s clash against Thailand to keep their direct World Cup qualification hopes alive.

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But midfielder Jackson Irvine can’t see them ditching their usual style for “kamikaze” football, despite the ramifications from last night’s deflating 2-0 loss to Japan.

Australia now require as big a win as possible against Thailand at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Tuesday night because the other game that will decide their fate won’t begin until the early hours of Wednesday morning, Australian time.

Saudi Arabia will know exactly what they need to do to ensure a top-two spot in Group B when they host Japan in a match that was pushed back by the Asian Football Confederation due to time differences and weather concerns.

Presuming Australia beat Thailand, a victory or draw for Japan will send them through to Russia 2018.

But a win for Saudi Arabia would mean goal difference will determine whether they or the Socceroos face an arduous two-leg play-off against the third-placed team from Group A – which could be any one of South Korea, Uzbekistan, China or Syria – and then another against the fourth-placed team from North and Central America.

All the Socceroos can do now is push for a big margin against Thailand – much easier said than done, considering the laboured 2-2 draw the two sides fought out last November.

But Irvine can’t see them abandoning their usual tactics just to do so.

“It’s funny, I think people are starting to get sick of us saying that our approach doesn’t change,” Irvine said.

“But that’s all we can say.

“We have our style, we have our system and we do believe in it.

“There’ll be times where it works. And then there’s times like tonight where it struggles.

“I don’t think we’ll go kamikaze.

“Our approach won’t change because we do score goals. Fingers crossed a good performance will be enough to get us to Russia.”

Irvine said the Socceroos were “gutted” not just with the result against the Samurai Blue, but because they didn’t give a proper account of themselves.

“We needed to move the ball quicker and find answers to the questions they were asking of us,” he said.

“It’s not over yet… we’ll wake up tomorrow, dust ourselves off and get ready for the game.

“It’s not going to be easy, but we very much have the firepower and capability of scoring goals in Melbourne.”

-AAP

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