Ryan proud to have played his role
Al Ain: Maty Ryan declared himself “happy” to have played a key role in ensuring Australia advanced to the quarter-finals of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 after his heroics between the posts gave the defending champions a 4-2 penalty shootout win over Uzbekistan.
Ryan denied Islom Tukhtakhujaev and Dostonbek Khamdamov in the shootout after the game had gone through 120 minutes without a goal to set up a last eight meeting with hosts the United Arab Emirates.
“I was happy to be able to contribute to the team,” said the Brighton & Hove Albion keeper.
“That situation for a goalkeeper is a very important one and if you can contribute to the team and help them get through and be the winning team at the end that’s the objective and thankfully tonight, I was able to make that contribution. “
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Graham Arnold’s team dominated much of the meeting with the Uzbeks but were unable to breach a defence that was well drilled by head coach Hector Cuper and Ryan admitted the Socceroos need to find a way to be more ruthless in front of goal to continue to progress at the AFC Asian Cup.
“I think we were the team creating the more chances in the game between the two sides,” he said. “Defensively I think there was only one save really I had to make in the first half and other than that we were pretty solid."
“We lacked the final bit of polish to put the ball in the back of the net and moving forward we’d like to be more clinical. Their keeper made a couple of saves and it’s always difficult when an opposition like that sits so deep.
“We have to be efficient in moving the ball around order to try and find the spaces in the positions where we can get shots on goal. It was a bit of a shame we couldn’t convert tonight.”
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