MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia coach Ange Postecoglou accused Honduras media of being disrespectful of his team and said his players had used it as motivation before Friday’s 0-0 draw in the first leg of the World Cup playoff.
Australia missed a number of chances in San Pedro Sula but had the better of a scrappy game played on a soggy, torn-up pitch and will head to the second leg in Sydney on Wednesday confident of qualifying for the finals in Russia next year.
Postecoglou took exception to a local newspaper that dismissed his team as “11 kangaroos” in a headline and used the post-match news conference to berate the home media.
“Maybe you thought we were going to be easy,” Postecoglou told reporters. “I saw in the newspaper you said it was 11 kangaroos out there, but kangaroos can play football, eh?
“People in Australia made comments about Honduras – they were wrong and we apologise for that but there were some comments made in Honduras about our team that were disrespectful as well.
“We had two players – Aaron Mooy and Mat Ryan – who play in the English Premier League, we’ve got players in the first divisions in Europe.
“All I heard was we have a simple game plan and no stars – that was our motivation. We do our talking when the game comes.
“For the most part, we kept the crowd pretty quiet and I thought it was a great performance.”