Osieck positive despite Socceroo struggles

The German coach chose to look on the bright side after his team ended the competition with just one point from a possible nine

Holger Osieck believes the East Asian Cup was a worthwhile experience for Australia after watching the Socceroos go down 4-3 in their final match against China on Sunday.

After battling to a fortunate 0-0 draw in the tournament opener against South Korea last weekend, Australia went down 3-2 to Japan on Thursday and they will go home with just one point to their name after losing to Fu Bo's team at Jamsil Olympic Stadium.

The margin of China's victory could have been greater were it not for two late goals from Mitchell Duke and Adam Taggart.

Having seen Australia outclassed by all of their regional rivals at times in the competition, Osieck feels his inexperienced players have learned a valuable lesson about the challenges of international football.

"Well, we came to this tournament with a developmental team so if you see the line-up today, one player, [Matt] McKay, has more caps than the rest of the team together," he said.

"We lacked experience as a group but [to come here and gain experience] was the plan. [We played against] Asian teams that are in full swing, in the middle of their season.

"Many [of our] players never played at this level with the national team. I think it was a very good experience for all of us to see where they stand and how much work is left for them [to be ready for the regular national team]."

Osieck paid tribute to China, who have acquitted themselves well at the tournament following the dismissal of Jose Antonio Camacho as coach last month, prompting Fu to step in as caretaker.

"I could see in the first two games that China is very well organised as a team, and in particular in the first 15-20 mins today they surprised us and played very flexible football in the midfield," he said.

"Then we managed to get our team together and we played a very open game."

Osieck pinpointed Mitch Nichols' failure to convert a serviceable chance, one which arrived shortly before China's second, as a turning point in the contest.

"There are always issues in a game [that determine the outcome], we had great opportunity with Nichols and had we scored we would have been 2-1, then China scored right after on their next chance, that is how it goes in games," he said.

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