Goodwin out for goals to take Australia into AFC Asian Cup quarters

Al Wehda forward Craig Goodwin is looking for Australia to show their ruthless side when they meet Indonesia on Sunday for a place in the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 quarter-finals.

The Roshn Saudi League star, 32, certainly has the talent to help fire the 2015 continental champions past their last-16 opponents in Qatar.

Goodwin arrived at the tournament off the back of six goals and one assist in 14 RSL matches this campaign.

However, with Australia scoring only four times in three matches as they qualified for the knockout stages as Group B winners, Goodwin has called on his teammates to raise their game in front of the net.

“We’re very ready,” he said on the eve of the match with Indonesia. “We set out our ambition at the start of the tournament as a group and as a team. We know we can’t take any game lightly.

“When we are the favourites, it’s harder for sure. We have shown that we are one of the best in Asia and we have to show our ruthlessness.

“We can see what Indonesia have done and how they are attacking, so that’s something we have to be aware of, and we can’t drop our focus.

“If we can nail down that ruthlessness in the final third, we can take our game to the next level.”

Goodwin, who played for Al Wehda from 2019 to 2022 before returning to the club last September, started Australia’s opening win against India, but was forced to sit out the next two games because of a slight injury.

Capped 15 times by his country, he is back available for the tie against knockout debutants Indonesia at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.

“I’m training fully today,” Goodwin said. “We took the decision to rest it for this stage of the tournament. [It was a] little bit annoying to pick up the knock, now I’m back in contention. 

“I’m ready to go whether it’s from the starting position or the bench - I hope I can have an impact on the game.

“It’s my job to bring to the team as an attacking player. In the last two years at club and country, that’s the role I see myself, as the creator, whether from open play or set-pieces."