Home is where heart is for Troisi and Socceroos
HOME comforts will make all the difference for the Socceroos, with the climate and the turf underfoot two reasons for their growing confidence ahead of tomorrow night's make-or-break World Cup qualifier with Syria.
A 1-1 draw in the first leg in Malaysia, amid what attacker James Troisi dubbed "ridiculous” humidity, will be the launchpad for success in the second leg he claimed, taking Australia one step closer to the World Cup.
The Socceroos need a win or a goalless draw at ANZ Stadium to get through to another play-off, and Troisi was keen to emphasise the effort that had gone into securing parity at the halfway point of the Syria tie.
"When you watch from home on your TV screens you don't realise it's 30 degrees and the humidity is ridiculous,” he said.
"We were warming up and you do one or two strides and you can't breathe.
"We want to play football and it is very tough to do that on a pitch like that. It might look good sitting up in the stands but it was terrible. We've been there before and I'm sure it's going to happen again.
"We've heard the ANZ Stadium pitch is pretty good and we're looking forward to playing there. Just in general playing back home makes a massive difference, also the conditions are beautiful and (we'll have) home fans.
"We're pretty positive, no one is really stressed, everyone is pretty relaxed. The mood is very good. Obviously we have to perform on the night and I'm sure we will.”
Troisi also underlined the importance of confining Syria's fortuitous penalty in the first leg to history, and of removing the risk of a repeat by "killing the game”.
"It was a vital draw in Malaysia in very tough conditions - we lapsed a little bit in the second half for 15 minutes or so,” he said.
"Obviously it wasn't a penalty but we have to understand things like that are going to happen.
"We've got to take it into our own hands (on Tuesday) and kill the game before that. The boys are good, we love playing at home and we'll try and get the job done.
The Socceroos are likely to face Panama or Honduras and avoid USA in a potential World Cup playoff tie if they beat or draw with Syria.
The fourth-placed CONCACAF team will face either Australia or Syria in two matches (home and away) in November for a place in Russia.
USA's 4-0 win over Panama moved Americans into third place on the CONCACAF ladder with 12 points.
Panama (10 points) are now fourth with one more game to play with fifth-placed Honduras also on 10 on goal difference after drawing 1-1 with second-ranked Costa Rica.
Final places will be decided Wednesday morning (AEST).