Australia drew a blank in Abu Dhabi in their first of two friendlies this week in sapping heat and humidity but the 0-0 was a much better look than the 13 goals they’ve shipped in their past five games. 

The visitors dominated play but couldn’t get it together in the final third, leaving Postecoglou with plenty of work to do ahead of the Aussies playing host to the Asia Cup. 

Postecoglou isn’t getting excited though and knows his side has a long way to go. 

“I don’t go home and pop champagne corks over clean sheets,” Postecoglou said after the match.

“But we were great defensively, I thought. Apart from one (UAE) chance we didn’t really feel threatened at all.

“I guess that is a positive but, from our perspective, we want to keep progressing our overall play and I thought we did that but just lacked the cutting edge up front.”

Postecoglou gave Sydney FC striker Bernie Ibini a debut, preferring to rest Tim Cahill, who had a minor hamstring complaint, and introduce the side’s main goal threat inside the closing 20 minutes. 

Robbie Kruse also returned for the first time in a year for the national team and played an hour. 

It was no accident that Australia’s most threatening period came in the closing 10 minutes, with Cahill on deck, though Matthew Leckie was as always a handful for the defence. 

“Until maybe the last 10 minutes, we never really looked threatening,” the coach said. 

“It’s a bit understandable because it’s Krusey’s first game for almost a year and Bernie’s first game for his country so we’ve got to be realistic in our expectations.”

Josh Brillante came in at right back in a side beset by injury, with Chris Herd, Ivan Franjic, Mark Bresciano and Tommy Oar all unavailable. 

The intense heat meant drinks breaks were taken at the 30-minute mark of each half. 

The Socceroos now face Qatar in Doha on Wednesday. 

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