Le Guen: Oman was undone by Australia’s pace
Paul Le Guen
Paul Le Guen conceded his Oman team were undone by a combination of power and pace against an Australia side that underlined their position among the favourites for the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 with a comprehensive 4-0 thrashing of the Gulf side at Stadium Australia on Tuesday evening.
Matt McKay, Robbie Kruse, Mark Milligan and Tomi Juric all found the back of the net in an impressive performance as the Socceroos secured their place in the quarterfinals of the AFC Asian Cup for a third tournament in a row.
The loss, coupled with a 1-0 defeat against Korea Republic on Saturday, means the Omanis have no chance to advance to the knockout rounds and will return home after their final Group A clash with Kuwait at the weekend.
"They deserved obviously the win and I wish them the best for the competition," said the Frenchman. "They were far better than us in each part of the game.
"We were not able to cope with such pace three days after our game against Korea. It's too much for us. It's too complicated and we have to recognise the superiority of the opponent.
"Australia have more power at each set piece, it's an opportunity for them and they opened the scoring from a corner and it's not a surprise and in the air they're far better than us and when they are up it's far easier for them.
"We had chances, we created some situations but obviously this is not enough and we were not able to cope with the rhythm and the pace and they were too good for us. They have the power, the rhythm and the fitness.
"They have had four days' recovery, but even with three days it could be the same because they have the power and the impact and that's why they are the favourites. They have a good balanced team and power and we do not. Three days after the game against Korea, we are not capable to follow this rhythm to be able to compete."
Le Guen's Oman had held Australia to a 2-2 draw on their last visit to Stadium Australia in qualifying for the Fifa World Cup in Brazil, but the former Lyons and Rangers manager conceded the Socceroos have improved since that meeting in 2013.
"They have power, they have legs, they have dynamism, it's a good, balanced team with some experienced players," said Le Guen.
"They have refreshed the team and I think it's a good thing.
"It was obvious during the World Cup, even if they didn't get the results they expected, the games were quite good and they have kept the momentum and I think they are on the right way."
There will be little more than pride at stake when Oman take on Kuwait in their meeting on Saturday, but Le Guen will be pushing to secure all three points.
"(We will play) with the pride we need to have," he said.
"Each international game is important. Of course we are out, but when you play against South Korea and Australia at home it is a disappointment but it is not a very huge surprise. You have to be objective.
"I know football well enough and I knew this could happen. I hoped not, but I knew it could happen. I will keep my chin up and want my team to do so too. We have to be humble, but also proud because each game is important."