Arnold urges imposing Australia to use height against Syria

DOHA; Australia must make the most of their aerial superiority at the Asian Cup, coach Graham Arnold says, starting against Syria in their second game on Thursday.

The Socceroos began their campaign in Qatar with a 2-0 win over India on Saturday but had to wait until the 50th minute before Jackson Irvine broke the deadlock.

Australia have one of the tallest players in the tournament in 6-foot-6 (1.98m) defender Harry Souttar and Arnold wants to capitalise on their height advantage.

"Our set-pieces were not great against India," the coach said on Wednesday.

"We had a lot of corners and that is probably one of our strengths. We just need to improve on those little things."

Australia reached the last 16 at the World Cup just over a year ago in Qatar before bowing out to a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina.

Arnold's physically imposing side are among the contenders for the Asian Cup, and their clean sheet against India was their fourth in as many games.

Full-back Aziz Behich said Arnold had put the emphasis on "defending as a team."

"When we press or when we're in a block, we make sure we're very compact and make it difficult for the opposition," said Behich.

"Especially since Arnie came in, we've improved on that a lot."

Behich was part of the Australia team that won the 2015 Asian Cup on home soil, beating South Korea in the final.

The 33-year-old said he would "like to do it again" and believes they are capable of making it happen.

"We have got a great squad, we started the tournament with a win, it's always important," he said.

"We've put India behind us now and our next challenge is Syria, so full focus on Syria."--AFP

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