Arnold vows to lift Australia after sobering loss to France


AL WAKRAH, Qatar — Australia coach Graham Arnold said he was confident his side would bounce back strongly from Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to France, rejoicing in their dream start against the world champions and Craig Goodwin’s surprise opening.

Goodwin scored Australia’s first World Cup goal from open play since Tim Cahill’s volley against the Netherlands eight years ago and had the Socceroos in dreamland, threatening another major upset after Saudi Arabia beat Argentina.

Australia were quickly blown away by France, however, and have remained without a World Cup win since 2010.

“We built conviction, energy and focus. The last week since we’ve been at camp, we’ve worked hard and built that belief. And the way we started, I think they believed,” Arnold told reporters.

“At the end of the day (it was) the quality of the France team. They are the former world champions for a reason… But overall the boys did everything they could and that is all i can ask for.

“I think we started the game very well… We were just punished for our mistakes. This game is over, it’s now about winning on Saturday, so we have to prepare for it.

Australia are bottom of Group D and will next face Tunisia, who have a goalless draw with Denmark.

“It’s better if the games aren’t too far apart because that gives us something to look forward to,” said midfielder Aaron Mooy.

“We were trying to be compact in the middle, which I think we did well, but they went sideways. I think three of the goals came from crosses. Quality deliveries and movement, that’s why they are world class.

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