Cahill focused on beating Chile despite 'special' milestone

Tim Cahill has played down the significance of a potential 100th cap for Australia, insisting that beating Chile trumps all with Australia's Confederations Cup survival depending on it.

Tim Cahill

Tim Cahill scoring against Chile at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Source: Getty Images

The master of longevity is on the threshold of becoming Australia's most capped outfield player in Moscow on Monday night (1AM - LIVE on SBS) as Ange Postecoglou's men seek to overcome the world's fourth ranked side by two goals and qualify for the semi-finals.

The importance of the occasion is paralleled by Cahill's looming landmark, as he gazes back on his 99 appearances and record 44 goals since his debut aged 24 back in 2005.

Advertisement


"To finally get here now is pretty special, for me every game is special," he said.

"It's been a long time coming, but not something that's been in the back of my mind that I've got to get to 100 caps.

"What's coming up is a big game for us.

"The last time we played Chile we did really well (in losing 3-1 at the 2014 World Cup).



"This time we are looking to improve and go to one better."

Cahill says he will keep any emotions in check, saying they may only come later.

"I've been lucky enough to be part of a lot of amazing campaigns over the past 12 years with the Socceroos," he added.

"I can't put any more onus on this, if anything I have to put it to the back of my mind.

"After the game we can talk about the good times and how I have enjoyed being part of 100 games and hopefully creating more history with the Socceroos."

Australia's serial saviour in vital games down the years, Cahill gave a hint of his ability to transcend time when he added: "When Ange took over he said to me 'why can't this be your best ever campaign, and he said the same with the 2014 World Cup, and it was up there.

"He said the same again before the Asian Cup and it's the same thing today."

Cahill is as much motivator to his teammates as he is a player now as he moves deep into the autumn of his career.

"It's a drive that I put into players like Tomi Juric, Tomi Rogic, Mathew Leckie and Robbie Kruse," he declared.

"Why can't it be their best ever game. I feel rejuvenated around this group of players.

"There's so much to give and so much to offer."

Cahill said that after the opening 3-2 loss to Germany, the 1-1 draw with Cameroon had instilled new belief in the team.

"The way we moved and kept the ball ... it's a process," he said.

"There's a strong belief in how we can change the game and to be a footballing team.

"Things don't happen overnight but we are preparing for the World Cup, and being able to go there and make an impact."

Cahill insisted that despite the odds against them, they can shock Alexis Sanchez and his celebrated teammates.

"It's all about the final third and how we can put them on the back foot," he said.

"When you put balls into the box, teams start to go backwards.

"In set pieces we are very strong and for us we will just keep believing in what we are doing.

"I truly believe we can upset one of the top teams in this competition and if we don't believe that, we shouldn't be here."


Share
Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Have a story or comment? Contact Us

Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Watch nowOn Demand
Follow SBS Sport
4 min read
Published 24 June 2017 at 8:47pm
By Dave Lewis in Sochi