Postecoglou rues missed opportunity as Australia go out

Coach Ange Postecoglou vowed to stick to his methods despite Australia's elimination from the Confederations Cup following a 1-1 draw with Chile on Sunday.

The Socceroos were excellent in Moscow, dominating for large periods against the South American champions, but failed in their bid to achieve the two-goal victory that would have put them through to face Portugal in the semi-finals.

Hopes were raised when James Troisi put Australia ahead shortly before half-time but Martin Rodriguez equalised in the second period to propel Chile into the last four.

Postecoglou has spoken at length of his desire to change the philosophy of Australian football, moving away from a physical approach into a team that like to pass the ball and dominate possession.

On the whole it worked at Spartak Stadium and, while disappointed not to advance, Postecoglou was pleased with his players' progress.

He said: "I've said all along we'll qualify for the World Cup. At some point in time I'll get replaced by 'John the pragmatist' and you [the media] can all be happy and revel in it but I'll stick true to what I've started doing in this job.

"We'll play a certain type of football, take it to the opposition and see where it takes us."

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Postecoglou was delighted with his side's display at Spartak Stadium but described their failure to advance as a "missed opportunity".

"They're a fantastic team and we've played one of the best teams in the world off the park," he added.

"But it's a missed opportunity, we wanted to at least get out of the group and if you look at the context of the three [Group B] games we were in every one and we're disappointed at not getting through.

"That's setting the highest possible benchmarks but we have to if you want to consistently compete at this level. It was a great opportunity against a fantastic team. I have great admiration for the way Chile play their football, the way they've grown over the past four or five years, not taking a backward step against any team in the world.

"There's something in that for us, we can be a similar team.

"I thought we were the better side tonight and deserved to get something out of it. I don't see it as progression, it's what we were expecting. We wanted to test ourselves against the best at this tournament. We're not quite there yet so we'll keep pushing forward and make sure we keep developing.

"The final step for us is we need our players playing at the highest level. If you're talking about the biggest difference between our players and the opposition at this tournament, it's where they play their club football.

"We're not far away from being a good team but we need our boys playing at the highest level consistently."

Postecoglou reserved his final word for 37-year-old captain Tim Cahill, who rolled back the years with a vintage performance in his 100th appearance in the green and gold before departing shortly before the hour mark.

"He was important, especially at the start," said Postecoglou. "He wasn't going to be taking a backward step against Arturo Vidal or Alexis Sanchez, he has that personality.

"When he has the personality, the others follow.

"We haven't played him in that position [off the striker] for a while but I felt he could give us energy when he pressed.

"He has this will and desire, it's the trademark of a champion and that's what he is. It's a shame we couldn't get it done for him.

"I wanted today to be a memorable day but we couldn't deliver."

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