BANGKOK (AFP) - Australian defender Lucas Neill has hit out at Oman's "unprofessional" time-wasting in their 1-1 Asian Cup draw, saying so many players went down it was like they were shot "by a sniper in the stands."
The Gulf state, ranked 74 and playing the Australians for the first time on Sunday, protected a 32nd-minute lead with a packed defence and questionable injury-feigning tactics only for Tim Cahill to equalise in stoppage time.
Referee Eddy Maillet of the Seychelles was forced to frequently halt the game as Omani players slumped to the ground with apparent injuries only to quickly rejoin the game after being stretchered off.
The West Ham defender described Oman's tactics as "extremely unprofessional" but predictable for what the Australians are expecting in their maiden Asian Cup tournament.
While not a law of the game, traditionally opposition players kick the ball into touch when in possession if a rival appears seriously hurt.
"We knew that was going to happen. You want to kick the ball out, but after a while it gets extremely unprofessional," Neill said Monday.
"The sniper in the stands had a field day. Everyone was dropping like flies. It's frustrating, but that's the sort of things we're going to come up against and we've just got to rise above it."
Neill said it was impossible to officiate against the tactics, and the Socceroos would have to accept that teams would try it on to protect a precious lead.
"How can you officiate it? If a guy goes down you have to presume he's injured because eventually it will be like 'cry wolf'," he said.
"Eventually one guy will be injured and they'll get hammered for not stopping the play or us not kicking the ball out. It's tough."
|Coach: G. Arnold|
for M. Sterjovski 46'
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