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Tactics & Analysis

Neill set to keep Socceroos captaincy

Finally, people can stop talking about Lucas Neill.

His tenure as Socceroos captain looks set to continue into next year after a sturdy display in Tuesday night's 1-0 victory against Costa Rica.

New coach Ange Postecoglou praised the resilience of Neill, who didn't buckle under calls for him to be stripped of the leadership role.

"If nothing else, we can stop talking about Lucas Neill," Postecoglou told reporters after banking a first-up win as Australian coach.

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

Neill became the Socceroos' longest-serving skipper, his 61st match as captain eclipsing Peter Wilson's 60 games as the 1970s leader.

While Neill justified his spot, it was the man who was touted as his possible replacement who delivered victory - Tim Cahill headed the winner in the 69th minute.

Cahill equalled Damian Mori's all-time Socceroos goal-scoring record of 29 goals in what Neill described as a spirited display under the boss Postecoglou.

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


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