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Arzani, Boyle were supposed to help Socceroos unlock packed defences - Arnold

05:03 GMT+4 11/01/2019
Daniel Arzani Socceroos
The green and gold boss has bemoaned the absence of two attacking talents

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold has admitted injured wingers Daniel Arzani and Martin Boyle were both key in the team's original plan to retain their Asian Cup title.

The two attackers suffered serious injuries in the lead-up to the tournament, with Arzani tearing his anterior cruciate ligament playing for Celtic while Hibernian flyer Boyle suffered a season-ending knee injury in Australia's warm-up match against Oman.

In their absence, the green and gold suffered a shock 1-0 loss to Jordan in its opening Asian Cup group match, as Arnold explained how the two injured stars would have helped the team and revealed details about Boyle's rehabilitation.

"I don't want to reflect too much on it, but Martin was one of the keys to this tournament - him and young Daniel Arzani, because of their individual quality that they have in a one-v-one situation against teams that play with a packed defence," Arnold said.

"Martin had the operation last night, Martin is recovering, we've been in touch with him, he's in good spirits and we expect him to have a great recovery at Hibs and we'll see him back with the Socceroos soon."

It's been an injury-cursed tournament for Australia - with Aaron Mooy also absent from the squad and fitness worries surrounding attacking stars Tom Rogic and Mathew Leckie.

The Socceroos face a crunch contest against Palestine in Dubai on Friday night (AEDT) before heading back to Al Ain for their final group match against Syria on Wednesday morning (AEDT).

Jordan's 2-0 victory over Syria means the Chivalrous can secure top spot with a draw in their final group game against Palestine as Australia will be keen to secure two wins and go through to the knockouts as a second-place finisher.