Saudi time-wasting 'ridiculous': Sainsbury
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Socceroos defender Trent Sainsbury has lashed out at time-wasting tactics from Saudi Arabia after a heated World Cup qualifier in which coaches on both sides lost their cool.
Australia had to settle with a 2-2 draw in Jeddah on Friday morning (AEDT), but the match threatened to boil over in the second half as Saudi players started succumbing in the tough 30C heat and humidity.
When defender Omar Othman fell to the ground with cramp a good 50m off the ball, players and fans for the home side demanded the Socceroos stop play so he could seek treatment.
Eventually captain Mile Jedinak yielded and booted the ball into touch - but not before Saudi assistant Mark van Bommel rushed over to the Australian bench to remonstrate with Ange Postecoglou, who reacted fiercely and had to be held back by the fourth official.
"Even after they scored in the first five minutes, you've got people telling them to stay in the corner and try and soak up minutes. It's ridiculous," said Sainsbury, whose headed goal made it 1-1 just before halftime.
"Then they're going down with cramp when they're leading one-nil.
"Little things like that get on your nerves because it's not good for football.
Postecoglou tried to play down the spat as "nothing important" but was reportedly caught screaming "you f...... cheat" twice through the broadcaster's effects microphone.
"I didn't think we needed to kick it out because they had an opportunity to kick it out and decided to attack. We did the fair play thing," he said.
Sainsbury said a draw felt like a loss for the Socceroos after the way they came back from a goal down to take a 2-1 lead.
"Obviously coming here in the heat and getting a point, some people would be satisfied. But it's bollocks," he said.
"We're really disappointed we didn't get the three points, I thought we deserved it... but we couldn't go on and finish them off."
Australia takes on Japan in what shapes as a vital Group B clash for both sides on Tuesday in Melbourne.