Sainsbury: Kuwait 'ran out of legs'

Australia centre-back Trent Sainsbury says Kuwait ran out of steam on Friday night and he’s expecting Oman to be a tougher opponent.

The Socceroos rolled over Kuwait after going behind early, claiming a 4-1 win in the first game of the Asian Cup.

Hussain Fadhel put the visitors ahead 1-0 after just eight minutes following confusion in the area.

The Kuwaiti managed to break free of his marker and dive to head the ball past Mat Ryan.

Sainsbury, in just his fifth match for the Socceroos, described the goal as disappointing.

“You can put it down to a lot of things but at the end of the day, we’ve got to man up, one-on-one pick up the man,” the 23-year old told FourFourTwo.

“The early goal was a little hiccup for us. We’ll analyse it and come back bigger and better and stronger in the next game. It’s disappointing to concede from a set-piece obviously but in the end we rallied together and the pressure we put on the opposition told at the end.

“They ran out of legs so it’s a good sign to get off with a win.”

Sainsbury played with Matt Spiranovic in the heart of the Australian defence for the first time.

The PEC Zwolle stopper said he and Spiranovic have to slightly fine-tune their fledgling partnership

“Spira’s a great player,” Sainsbury said.

“We’ve got a few communication things to work on, especially for myself. There was one or two times with a player in his back and I didn’t take him. So that was my fault. But in the end we can work on that for the next game.”

The former Central Coast Mariners defender admitted it was a relief to start the Asian Cup with a win, with many tipping an easy Socceroos victory over Kuwait.

“It’s a relief to get the three points obviously,” Sainsbury said.

“But to do it in style and in the manner that we did is more pleasing to us then anything else.”

Oman are Australia’s next opponent in the tournament, with the match taking place on Tuesday at Sydney’s Stadium Australia.

Oman are ranked 93rd in the world, seven places above the Socceroos, and head into the Asian Cup after securing third place in the Gulf Cup in November.

Sainsbury expects the Socceroos' next opponents to offer more than Kuwait in an attacking sense.

“I think they’ll be a bit of a tougher opposition,” he said.

“Probably more offensive than the Kuwaitis tonight. But at the same time we’ll be prepared for them when the next game comes.”