LIVE: After the Matildas kicked off their Olympic football campaign with a win on Wednesday night, the Olyroos are hoping to emulate that feat when they face Argentina on Thursday (8.30pm AEST).
And coach Graham Arnold says his team is ready to ‘shock the world’.
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The Olyroos haven’t competed in the Olympics since 2008, but coach Graham Arnold – a track athlete at Seoul 1988 – says the team isn’t there to make the numbers.
“We came into this tournament with great expectations to go far in the tournament and win games,” Arnold said.
“I really believe a lot in this group. In the players we have. It’s a young group but they have a lot of energy. “
He added: “It is a wonderfully talented squad of young players. They have great energy. And they are ready to shock the world.
I hope some of our players will make it through the tournament like crazy. We have a great, talented squad. We respect the opposition. We know what their strengths are and where they overreact, their weaknesses, so we will focus more on our own performance. “
The Olyroos are Australia’s under-23 team, although that age limit was raised by Tokyo a year after the Olympics were delayed by a year. Each side can have three players above the age limit, though Arnold has picked only two in this tournament – veteran Socceroos forward Mitch Duke and Central Coast Mariners defender Ruon Tongyik, who are just a few years out of the age limit. week.
Their group is extremely difficult: Argentina – the defending champion of South America at both U-23 and senior level; Spain, the reigning European Under-23 champion; and Egypt, the reigning African U-23 champions.
But Arnold has extensive experience at the Olympic level, as player in 1988, assistant coach in 2004 and head coach in 2008.
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