PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil, June 17 (Reuters) - Australia will take the fight to the Netherlands in a World Cup David and Goliath clash on Wednesday, even if they go down swinging to the heavier Dutch blows, coach Ange Postecoglou said.
The Australians displayed plenty of determination in an opening 3-1 loss to Chile but find themselves in a different weight class from the other Group B teams that also includes Spain.
While the Chileans are a quality side, the Australians will move up a division at Beira Rio stadium when they square off against the Dutch, led by the one-two scoring punch of Arjen Robben and Robin Van Persie.
“That is going to be an enormous challenge for us to stop their attacking game but the other side of that is if we defend for 90 minutes there is only going to be one result and that won’t be in our favour,” Australia coach Ange Postecoglou told reporters on Tuesday. “From our perspective it is just as important that we are dangerous when we have the ball and we think we can be.”
While the Australians believe they have finely honed their attacking instincts, the Netherlands have already confirmed they possess plenty of attacking flair by demolishing holders Spain 5-1 in their opening game.
In three meetings Australia have never lost to the Netherlands, earning two draws and a 2-1 win in Eindhoven in 2008 but the men from Down Under remain a long shot to come out on top in Porto Alegre despite the support of 15,000 fans who made the trek to this southern port city.
”We have fantastic support, they are really positive and right behind us,“ said Postecoglou. ”From our perspective we know it is a massive challenge tomorrow, there is a lot at stake for both teams.
”If the Dutch win they are through to the next round and if we don’t get a result then it is the end of our tourney.
“Because of that we’re going to see a high quality game.”
Up front the Socceroos will look for inspiration from veteran Tim Cahill, on target against Chile in becoming the eighth player to score in three World Cups.
”Both teams love to play attacking football, we know the Dutch do and that is certainly our intent,“ said Postecoglou. ”We sort of said right from the start, that is not why we came to the World Cup.
”We obviously know we are going to have to be very strong defensively because the Dutch are very dangerous going forward, they proved that the other day against Spain.
“We’re strong defensively but we spend just as much time thinking about what we are going to do when we have the ball.” (Editing by Justin Palmer)