Sydney FC international marquee Marc Janko created a new piece of Sky Blues history on Monday as he became the first current Sydney FC player to be involved in the European Championships, with his Austrian side drawing 1-1 with Sweden.
Both goals came early in the first half as Janko started against Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Sweden at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion, in the first match of the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers.
The Sydney FC front man played 68 minutes up front before being substituted and was upbeat despite the stalemate that eventuated.
“The result is ok, we played a good game and we would have deserved a win,” he said.
“Nevertheless we take the point we earned and focus on the tasks ahead of us. The European qualifiers just started and there are still many games to play."
Janko is confident his side can qualify in what would be only Austria’s second appearance at Europe’s most highly recognised national team tournament.
“We are very focussed and believe that we have a good chance to qualify,” Janko said.
“This is one of the main reasons why I decided to continue my international career because I would love to play one big tournament with the national team once in my lifetime.”
Janko laid bare the contrasts between a European Championship qualifier and his most recent matches with Sydney FC in the Townsville Football Cup during preseason, in which he scored his first goal for the Sky Blues.
“Everything will be different,” Janko said.
“Different country, different squad, different coach and tactics, different climate and a different pitch, and as it’s a competition game the tension will be a lot higher,“ he continued.
“I’m looking forward to playing competition games for Sydney FC also and I can’t wait until the league in Australia starts.”
Reflecting fondly on his debut appearance and goal in Townsville, Janko believes the squad are better off after they returned unbeaten in the competition.
“The time we spent in Townsville was good,” Janko said.
“We worked very well and everyone did a great job. It’s still preparation time but it’s always good for your self-esteem to win games. Winning must become a habit.
“The time in the camp gave me the chance to get to know the guys a little bit. I feel very welcome,” he continued.
“It’s always nice to play games with your new team mates. I really enjoyed it and I’m sure we will have a good season because we have a great squad.”
Janko returns to Sydney last this week and will be available to face Wellington Phoenix in Wollongong next Friday 19th September, kick off 7.30pm.
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