Asian Cup: Australia look to seal quarter-final berth against Bahrain

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Asian Cup: Australia look to seal quarter-final berth against Bahrain
Australian coach Holger Osieck is sweating on the fitness of three of his main players, and it is thought that the German will wait until the last minute for the trio to prove their fitness. The Socceroos face Bahrain in their final group game, and will
be looking to book their place in the last eight of the Asian Cup.
The game against may turn the tie into a tricky affair.
In the closing stages of the 1-1 draw against Korea a few days ago, Blackpool defender David Carney suffered a shoulder injury but played through the remaining few minutes. The Blackpool man has been an ever-present player in the Australian side in the Group
stages, but it is not clear if he will be able to play against Bahrain.
The 27-year-old left back is joined by Jason Culina and Luke Wilshire, who are also struggling with injuries. Wilshire and Culina are struggling with hip and groin problems respectively.
Osieck wants to field his strongest possible side for the Bahrain match since he is reluctant to take any chances. However, the experienced German will have to consult with his medical staff before making a decision about the starting XI.
The Australian coach said, "We have some knocks and bruises for the game and we may have to replace some players. However, we have an excellent medical staff working around the clock with them. It is still pretty likely we will have everyone ready for tomorrow's
The Australians are hoping to qualify for the next phase of Asia’s most prestigious football tournament for the second time in as many appearances. Four years ago, were able to reach the quarterfinal stage of the competition, before being blown
away by Korea.
Many pundits in Asia have tipped Australia to win the title for the first time ever in 2011. Osieck too is keen to keep his team’s winning mentality, and will be looking for nothing less than a victory over Bahrain. The coach said that he would not consider
anything less than victory a good result, as he believes that his team’s fate is in the players’ hands and they should not get complacent.
Australia’s history against the Bahrainis has been good as well. The Socceroos have had the better of their Middle-Eastern rivals in all of their last four meetings. However, Bahrain Coach Salman Sharida is not daunted by the statistics, and believes that
his players have enough guile to get a win and book a place in the knockout phase.   
He said that his team knows all about the Australian team after playing against them on four occasions. However, the coach was also eager to point out the fact that his side is good enough to beat the Aussies.
After the 5-2 victory against a few days back, the Bahrainis would surely be oozing with confidence, but they will have to be more organised against the Australians who have looked consistent in the tournament so far.



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