Football News

Osieck vindicated by super-sub Kennedy

Created on Jun. 19, 2013 9:55 PM EST

Holger Osieck says he understood Tim Cahill's frustration at being substituted late in Australia's World Cup qualifier against Iraq.

Star man Cahill made no secret of his displeasure at being hauled off with the clock running down at Sydney's Stadium Australia on Tuesday.

Fortunately for head coach Osieck, the gamble paid off, as substitute Josh Kennedy rose to head the only goal of the game and secure Australia's passage to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Asked about the bold move after the match - and Cahill's annoyance - Osieck said: "You have to understand no player really wants to be taken off

"But it's my discretion as a coach to make substitutions, that's why I'm entitled to have three players that can be replaced.

"And you could see after the game he (Cahill) was one of the happiest persons, he was even (jumping up) on my shoulders.

"At times you reach a space in the game where you have to make something happen and it was about the time."

Cahill, who had squandered a couple of good chances to make Australia's night a little easier in the first half, cut a frustrated figure for much of the night as he battled a stubborn defence and lack of quality service from his team-mates.

While frustrated he could not do his part to get the Socceroos over the line, Cahill backed his coach's decision and said the German deserves a lot of respect for getting the nation to Brazil.

"You never want to leave the pitch. There's 10 minutes to go and you think you're going to score," he said.

"In the end the boss is a genius.

"Josh scored a great goal and it's the best thing that's ever happened.

"The guy's (Osieck) pretty special. If it was Guus Hiddink he'd be getting all the credit.

"And hats off to him. We've had three difficult games, been under a lot of pressure and we've produced."

But they left it late and Osieck admitted to feeling helpless as time ticked by without a breakthrough.

"(As a coach) you can never determine what's going on, on the pitch, you can just set stuff in place, give tactical instructions and give directives," he said.

"But basically it's the players that have to put the ball in the net.

"Of course you always hope it going to happen. When time is running out it's getting a little bit tight but that's normal."

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