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Nov 19, 2013

Neill dodges questions about crowd abuse

Socceroos captain Lucas Neill has dodged claims he abused his home-town crowd after a 1-0 win against Costa Rica on Tuesday night.

Neill reportedly exchanged angry words with a section of the crowd at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.

But the 35-year-old refused to be drawn on the controversy post-game.

Asked what happened, Neill bluntly told reporters: "Next question."

Neill's outburst was criticised by soccer commentator Mark Bosnich, who suggested it was not a good look - regardless of what frustrated the skipper.

"I don't think you should react like that," Bosnich told Fox Sports.

"People come and pay their money, they can basically do whatever they want, except they can't do anything illegal. But they can shout and scream whatever they like, that's their right."

Neill was a solid performer as he became the longest-serving Socceroo captain.

The win was his 61st match in charge, surpassing the 60-game mark of 1970s captain Peter Wilson.

Neill said it was a "spirited team performance" which delivered new coach Ange Postecoglou a first-up victory.

"We have worked very hard in training this week trying to absorb Ange's philosophy and I thought in large parts of the game tonight, we executed that plan," he said.

"There is always room for improvement but I think we have set a very good standard now and we have to build on that."

Postecoglou praised the performance of Neill, who had faced calls to quit as captain for the past month.

"If nothing else, we can stop talking about Lucas Neill," Postecoglou told reporters.

"To be fair to Lucas, he's handled this really well - I would have probably spat the dummy much earlier."

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