Goalkeeper Mat Ryan says the Socceroos have to improve their decision making in possession following the hard-fought 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Kyrgyzstan in Bishkek.
The Asian champions got their campaign to reach the 2018 World Cup off to a winning start but it was a difficult one at Spartak Stadium.
Goals to Mile Jedinak and Tommy Oar proved enough for the Australians, with Azamot Baimatov pulling a goal back for the plucky hosts.
Ryan told FourFourTwo it was vital that the Socceroos notched a victory in their first qualifier.
“First of all the most important thing was to win and it's nice we come out of the game with the three points,” he said.
“Obviously the state the pitch was in played a factor in the way we want to play but we don't want to use that as an excuse.
"We have to be better with our decision making of when and which balls to play and which ones to not play at certain times.”
The Socceroos may have dominated possession but Kyrgyzstan had more chances and took the game to their more illustrious opponents. Only poor execution and shooting proved to the home team’s downfall.
Ryan said the Socceroos did not underestimate Kyrgyzstan, which is ranked 177th in the world.
“We were always expecting them to be a difficult opponent and they definitely showed what they are capable of,” he said.
“Just lucky their shooting and final pass was a bit off tonight and we scrambled well when we needed to.
“As a squad we didn't underestimate them, it was more an experience into the unknown. Not knowing how bad the pitch would be and not knowing much about them as a team.
"We know in football there are know easy games and tonight was no different. I think we will all be better for the experience tonight.”
Ryan was disappointed to not finish the match with a clean sheet after Baimatov's header appeared to hit a team-mate's hand on its way into the net in stoppage time.
“I think the position the ref was in made in hard for him to see, but yeah was a blatant handball nonetheless,” the 23-year old said.
“It was disappointing to give up a clean sheet being so late in the game.”comments