It’s not panic stations yet for Socceroos, says Postecoglou
SOCCEROOS coach Ange Postecoglou insists his team is still in a good position to make the next round of World Cup qualifiers despite a 2-0 loss to Jordan in Amman.
The defeat meant Australia drop to second in Group B - finishing first means automatic qualification for the next round.
Jordan - which has become a bogey team away for the Socceroos, after also losing there in 2012 - now has its destiny in its own hands at the top of the group.
But Postecoglou said he wasn't worried just yet.
"We've had three away games and we have three games at home - including Jordan. We're still in a good position to achieve our goal (of qualifying)," he said.
With four games remaining in this stage of qualifiers, Jordan is in first place in Pool B with 10 points, followed by Australia on nine. That means there is still plenty of time for the Socceroos to snatch back first spot.
The team is expected to win its next game against Kyrgyzstan in Canberra on November 12.
In Amman, the Aussies had to deal with a frenzied pro-Jordan crowd, with about 17,000 creating an extra man through their volume and passion.
The Socceroos seemed to have weathered the storm after a scoreless first half, but the match turned when Australian defender Matthew Spiranovic was penalised, and Jordan's Hassan Mahoud Ramadan scored from the spot two minutes into the second stanza.
From then on the noise was deafening, lifting the Jordanian players to new heights.
Postecoglou said the Socceroos simply found it too hard to get back into the contest, with Jordanian midfielder Hamza Aldaradreh giving the hosts a two-goal buffer five minutes from full-time.
"They scored the first goal and it was hard for us to get back into the game. There were a lot of stoppages and we couldn't get any rhythm happening," he said.
"People talk about the crowd, but what do we want to do, play in empty stadiums?
"That's part of football. If our players don't want to be out there on a day like this, they're in the wrong business."
With 39 teams split into eight groups in this stage of qualification for Russia 2018, the eight group winners and four best second-placed teams will advance to the next round.
The leading teams in the other groups are: Group A: Saudi Arabia, Group C: Qatar, Group D: Iran/Oman, Group E: Japan, Group F: Thailand, Group G: Korea Republic.