Early on in the Socceroos fast-paced friendly against World Champions Germany on Thursday, goalkeeper Mat Ryan felt some of the Aussies were already looking exhausted.
Ange Postecoglou’s side was missing five first-team regulars through injury, including centre back pairing Matt Spiranovic and Trent Sainsbury. Alex Wilkinson came into the fray, along with debutant Luke DeVere.
“That’s part of football, you just have to adjust as best you can,” Ryan said.
“(DeVere) put in a great effort. I remember that 20 minutes in, looking out there, a few of our boys were pretty fatigued already and I thought he was one of them.
“Then in the last minute he made a run at (Lukas) Podolski and put enough pressure on him to make him miss the target. I was just trying to pick him up and say, ‘that’s what it takes - the extra efforts to get there’.
“I was just saying to him, ‘that what it takes to wear the Aussie jersey - you give it everything’. He was absolutely spent there at the end. Wilko was as well so that’s why Bailey Wright came on. That’s what it means to play for Australia.”
Despite Australia’s heroic 2-2 draw with Germany, Ryan was left disappointed.The green and gold fought back from a goal down to lead Germany 2-1 in Kaiserslautern until the 81st minute.
A famous victory looked on the cards with goals from James Troisi and a free-kick stunner from skipper Mile Jedinak, until Podolski’s winner.
“They were there for the taking,” Ryan admitted.
“But it was a pleasure to be out there and watch our team from the back there play some pretty nice football. We opened them up.
“We obviously approach every game trying to win. Against these bigger nations it’s natural for them to sort of take it lightly against us a little bit. Underestimate us a little bit.
“We try to take advantage of that and then 10 minutes to go and we concede the goal, it’s a little bit frustrating. But we can be pretty proud of our efforts. We’ve got things to learn from (and) 2-2 in Germany is not a bad result at the end of the day.”
Ryan was busy during the friendly and pulled off several key saves early on. The goalkeeper was fairly content with his own performance but believes the Socceroos should have secured the win with a late lead.
“There was a couple of nice saves in both halves,” the 22-year old said.
“I look at the goals, I don’t think I could have done really much with the second one. For the first one he nipped in front and I think he got his toenail on to it. It was a difficult one. Maybe I could have left my legs there. I didn’t expect him to get a touch on it.
“It was pretty complimentary for us in some areas but I think we’re all going to look at the video footage and see where we can improve from it.
“In the second half we got ahead, we perhaps switched to be a little bit too negative-minded and they sort of had a period there, actually after both goals, where they came at us a little bit more.”
The Club Brugge custodian says the Socceroos have plenty to take away from their plucky performance against Germany.
“I thought our set pieces and crossing situations, except for the two goals, were pretty good throughout,” Ryan said.
“They’re a very transitional team. We had a go at them and they came back at us. Perhaps with a team like that we need to learn not give the ball away so cheaply sometimes and starve them off possession.
“That’s the difference with these top nations, the depth that they had. Germany could field five teams. You look at the World Cup final, someone like Gotze comes off the bench and proving vital and scores the winning goal.
“It’s very positive for us going forward.”comments