Australia coach Graham Arnold is confident he can mix things up with his tactics against the United Arab Emirates in the 2019 Asian Cup quarter-finals after Tom Rogic was ruled out due to suspension.
The Socceroos progressed by the skin of their teeth on Monday, as they defeated Uzbekistan 4-2 on penalties after 120 minutes of goalless football in Al Ain.
Rogic was given a yellow card in just the 20th minute after he was adjudged to have fouled Jaloliddin Masharipov, with TV replays suggesting the Celtic midfielder stumbled on his opponent’s foot during the incident.
Arnold was adamant the booking was harsh, though he is confident he has enough options and systems to keep UAE guessing on Friday.
“The yellow card was a bit harsh, because Tomi had no intent,” Arnold told reporters.
Our #AsianCup2019 Quarter Final has been confirmed! @Socceroos v UAE
Saturday 26 January
3:00am AEDT, 2:30am ACDT, 2:00am AEST, 12:00am AWST.
Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium
@FOXFOOTBALL 505, @kayosports #GoSocceroos #TogetherAsOne pic.twitter.com/7SwzS55Gly
— Socceroos (@Socceroos) January 21, 2019
“He just had the ball at his feet. These things happen. We have the options and I can change the system if we need to.
“We’ll look at how UAE play, we’ll analyse them and, like I said, we’ve got plenty of options with different systems with these players that we can use.
“I could change play with two strikers, two number nines, we could play with a diamond midfield.
“One good thing is we don’t have to travel. We’re here in Al Ain, they have to travel down here. Our boys are extremely fit and they’ll be able to back up.”