Australia may face defence crisis ahead of Asian Cup final

Canberra: The Australian football team may have a crisis in hand in their defence ahead of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup final with right-back Ivan Franjic battling a hip injury.Australia will meet South Korea in
australia may face defence crisis ahead of asian...
IANS January 29, 2015 13:03 IST

Canberra: The Australian football team may have a crisis in hand in their defence ahead of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup final with right-back Ivan Franjic battling a hip injury.

Australia will meet South Korea in Sydney Saturday for the title but 'Socceroos' boss Ange Postecoglou may have to improvise on his defensive options, reports Xinhua.

Franjic is the only recognised right-back in Australia's squad but after limping off the field following their 2-0 victory over the United Arab Emirates in the semi-final Tuesday, he is in a race against time to prove his fitness.

Australia's only other specialist right-back defender Chris Herd has already been forced to leave the squad early after suffering an Achilles injury. Therefore, Postecoglou may have to play centre-half Trent Sainsbury in a wider role with Alex Wilkinson deputising alongside Matthew Spiranovic in the middle.

According to Sainsbury, he is ready to play wherever required.

"It doesn't bother me. They can put me in goal if they want to, I'm not fussed. I'll go out there and do the job that I'm told. I have played there a few times. I just have to adjust and do what the coach tells me," he said Thursday.

However, Franjic remained confident Wednesday that he will be fit to play in Saturday's showpiece final.

"It was pretty sore at the time but it's nothing major. We've got great medical staff and I'm sure I'll be fine for Saturday. Because it was towards the end of the game, we just took a few precautions. I went right wing and was able to finish the game off," he said.

"It was never bad enough to contemplate coming off. I was happy to push through and I'm sure it'll be good for Saturday. It would be devastating, of course, if I had to miss the final but I'm confident I'll be out there."

 
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