Cup win would boost A-League: North
Socceroos defender Jade North says winning the East Asian Cup would be a huge boost for the A-League.
The Socceroos meet Japan on Thursday in their second clash of the four-team tournament having opened with a 0-0 draw with hosts South Korea.
Japan also kicked off their campaign with a draw - a 3-3 result against China.
And with South Korea having played out a stalemate against China on Wednesday, should Australia snatch victory against Japan in Hwaseong, they'll be in the box seat to win the tournament.
Nineteen of the 23-man squad in South Korea play in the A-League.
Currently out of season, they were completely dominated by a young South Korean side but having come away with a point after enduring a relentless attack for 90 minutes North feels the team was harshly judged.
The 31-year-old Brisbane Roar player says the best way to silence the critics would be to lift the trophy at the end of the week.
"Yeah it will be a massive boost," he said.
"Ninety per cent of the boys are from the A-League and if we get a win against Japan and all of a sudden we could win this little tournament and then all of a sudden everyone changes their opinion of us.
"There's been a little bit of negativity ... I just think we're a bit out of our season and we're getting judged on one game.
"We've come away from that first game 0-0 and in any tournament you'd take a draw.
"This sets us up perfectly now. If we can get a result against Japan, China in that last game then anything can happen."
North was among three players, including Nick Carle and Scott McDonald, who having made the provisional squad ahead of the 2010 World Cup didn't make the cut for the final squad who travelled to South Africa.
But he says getting more game time in front of coach Holder Osieck this time round is crucial.
"It's great to have tournaments like this and even though we've just been thrown together in a few weeks, it's a great opportunity for us to stake our claim to go to the World Cup," he said.
Osieck has hinted at fielding the same starting line up against Japan on Thursday as he used against South Korea.
With striker Mitchell Duke not getting much time on the ball on Saturday, Osieck has mooted playing him at the point of attack again instead of trialling Tomi Juric.
Australia play their final game against China in Seoul on Sunday.