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Beating Kuwait vital: Langerak

December 30, 2014 10:05:05 UK

A good victory in their opening Group A clash at the Asian Cup is vital for Australia, says keeper Mitch Langerak.

The Socceroos play one of the five teams at the tournament ranked lower than them when they open their campaign against Kuwait in Melbourne on 9th January.

Nothing less than a victory will do for Ange Postecoglou’s side against a Kuwait team who are ranked 124th in the world, 24 spots below Australia.

We’ve got a difficult group and it’s important we can get three points from the first game, build on that and hopefully we can come out of the group stage and press on.

Mitch Langerak

They will then take on Oman, who were unbeaten in their qualifying group and finished above Jordan in top spot, in Sydney on 13th January.

South Korea, who are their final group opponents in Brisbane four days later, qualified for the tournament as third-place finishers in 2011 and are ranked as Asia’s third-best side.

Langerak says a winning start is imperative to Australia’s chances as they host the tournament for the first time – they lost in the final to Japan last time. The Socceroos are 3.75 to win the Asian Cup.

The Borussia Dortmund keeper said: “To have our home fans, home stadiums it will be vital we get off to a good start.

“We’ve got a difficult group and it’s important we can get three points from the first game, build on that and hopefully we can come out of the group stage and press on.”

Though Australia have only won one of their 11 games this year, Langerak says no-one in the squad is lacking ambition for the team as they go into the tournament.

He added: “As Australians it’s not normal for us to say that we want to win the tournament but that’s realistic. It’s what we need to be aiming for and anything less will be a disappointment.”

The Socceroos are 1.83 to win Group 1.

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