After beng subject to the effects of a virus, Olyroo midfielder Terry Antonis says that he’s ready to play the full 90 minutes in Australia’s next game against Jordan in the AFC U23 Championship in Doha.
The skillful PAOK midfielder suffered from a bug during the pre-tournament camp and thus only got limited game time during the first two games against the UAE and Vietnam. and most recently came on for Mustafa Amini in the 86th minute in the Olyroos' confidence boosting 2-0 win against their South Asian group rivals.
The result now sets up the most important game of the tournament and Antonis said he is fit and ready to play against Jordan in what is a must-win game if the Olyroos are to qualify for Rio 2016.
“I should be fine,” he said.
“It’s up to the coach who he wants to put on, it’s not up to me. I’m keen to help the team out in whatever way and as much as I can.”'
Antonis said that the win against Vietnam has given the team a boost after suffering a painful 1-0 loss in their first game against the UAE.
“It was difficult to lose the first game,” he said
“Especially as it was due to a lucky goal as well. After the Vietnam game, the win gives us more confidence and we are getting better and better all the time. The next game is a big one for us, we know we must win otherwise we are not going to go through, so we’ve got to give everything to get the win.”
A win against Jordan in their final group game will mean Australia have a possible meeting with either Iraq or South Korea in the next stage, while in comparison their Middle Eastern opponents only need a draw against the Aussies to qualify for the next round
Even though the Olyroos are confident of a win, Antonis is weary of the challenge that Jordan may throw at them after the UAE surprised the Australians with their tactics in the first game.
“It will be difficult,” he said.
“Every game is difficult. You can’t take it easy. You got to go out there and give all you can. Every team plays different you don’t know what to expect. In the first half against the UAE they were kicking the ball long and in the second half they came out and played a completely different game.
“So you never know what you are going to expect from these teams. Everyone has got to freshen up and move on from the last game. All we are thinking about is that we’ve got to get the win in this game to make it through.”comments