Lost in between the heroics of Mat Ryan and Mathew Leckie in
getting the Socceroos past Uzbekistan is the fact that when they take on tournament hosts UAE on Saturday they will have to do so without arguably their best attacking weapon.
Celtic star Tom Rogic will be suspended for the quarter-final after picking up his second yellow card of the tournament.
Rogic had been walking the suspension tightrope after a yellow card in the 3-0 group stage win over Palestine in Dubai.
On Tuesday, Rogic found himself ruled out of the quarter-final when he was booked in the 20th minute of the round of 16 match against Uzbekistan at the Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium.
The card came in controversial fashion as he passed the ball then collided with an Uzbek defender before the referee went to his pocket.
Coach Graham Arnold was disappointed to lose Rogic but believes he has the options to cope with the absence of the 26-year-old.
“The yellow card was a bit harsh because Tommy had no intent,” Arnold said.
“These things happen. We have the options and I can change the system if we need to.
“We’ll look at how UAE play, we’ll analyse them tomorrow and, like I said, we’ve got plenty of options with different systems with these players that we can use.”
The most likely option would be to start Massimo Luongo in place of Rogic as the key attacking midfielder but Arnold ever one for the mind games hinted at larger changes to the team structure.