Socceroos coach calls for killer touch

by AAP on Jun 03, 2012

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Socceroos coach Holger Osieck has demanded his players be more ruthless against Oman this Friday following some less than regal finishing in front of Princess Mary.

Australia held their own for most of Saturday's 2-0 loss to Euro-bound Denmark in Copenhagen but strikers Harry Kewell and Alex Brosque squandered some golden opportunities.

Osieck said his players must be more clinical in the opening match of the final stage of World Cup qualifying against world No.92 Oman in Muscat.

"That's where we can be criticised, because you have to convert these opportunities," Osieck said.

"When we play in our qualifying, we don't have the luxury to give away so many chances.

"This team has to be good enough to win three points in Oman."

Denmark captain Daniel Agger took advantage of an exquisite back heel from midfielder Christian Eriksen in the first half to draw a penalty out of Australian defender Matthew Spiranovic.

Liverpool defender Agger blasted home the spot kick in the 32nd minute before substitute Andreas Bjelland took advantage of some questionable defending from a corner to score from close range in the 68th minute.

With the revitalised Mark Bresciano pulling the strings in midfield, Australia dominated the early part of the second half at Parken Stadium.

But they couldn't produce an equaliser against a street wise outfit in world No.10 Denmark.

Osieck was happy with the work rate of Brosque and Kewell in the cool conditions with Tim Cahill replacing Kewell in the 69th minute.

"They did exactly what I asked of them," he said.

"They created space and passing opportunities, but unfortunately didn't convert. It was still encouraging. If you don't see any productivity up front you have to be scared."

Australia have a goal-scoring reinforcement in Josh Kennedy in Muscat with Brett Holman unlikely to play against world No.92 Oman because of the imminent arrival of his second child.

Osieck made some interesting selections on Saturday with Jade North playing right-back and Matt McKay slotting in at left-back.

With Luke Wilkshire in the midfield, North was favoured with Rhys Williams still trying to gain fitness after injury interrupted the second half of his season.

McKay started with Michael Zullo injured and David Carney coming off the bench after a midweek match in South Korea.

Unfortunately for Spiranovic, his performance in Copenhagen aided Sasa Ognenovski's chances of taking his place alongside Lucas Neill in the heart of Australia's defence.

As well as giving away the penalty, Spiranovic provided a horrible back pass in the 70th minute that put Nicklas Bendtner through on goal only for the big Danish striker to shoot wide.

"He was out of playing rhythm as he hasn't played much lately so I gave him the opportunity ... and when you are not in your rhythm, situations like that occur," Osieck said.

"I didn't see the penalty, but I definitely saw the back pass."