CURITIBA, Brazil (AP) — Australia coach Ange Postecoglou said Monday's match against Spain offers his team an opportunity to build a reputation of being "feared" rather than one that can cause an upset.
In his pre-match news conference Sunday, Postecoglou said his youthful team is motivated to secure Australia's third ever win at the World Cup in its fourth tournament.
"If we are to continue to improve and become the nation that we want to be, to be feared, we've got to start winning games at this level," he said. "Who's to know which one of us will be here in four years' time, and I don't want to pass up an opportunity to make an impact at this World Cup and for our nation."
Though neither team can qualify for the knockout stages after losing their first two games against the Netherlands and Chile, Postecoglou, an Australian himself, dismissed suggestions that the match against the defending champion is meaningless.
"We're very, very motivated," he said. "Our goal is to put our best performance at this World Cup in tomorrow's game, and if we do that, then we have a chance because we're still facing the current world champions."
After a fairly lackluster display in its 3-1 defeat to Chile in its opening game, Australia impressed during the 3-2 loss to the Netherlands. Australia challenged the Dutch, who had previously thrashed Spain 5-1 in its opening fixture. Tim Cahill scored one of the goals of the tournament with his left-footed volley.
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