Sydney: Australia coach Ange Postecoglou said his team had made a mockery of the FIFA rankings after the 100th-ranked Socceroos pummelled Oman to reach the Asian Cup quarter-finals.
Postecoglou said Tuesday`s 4-0 victory over Oman, which followed a 4-1 thumping of Kuwait in the tournament curtain raiser, would have statisticians at world football`s ruling body scratching their heads.
"People have been saying we haven`t playing well, the results haven`t been there," said the Aussie boss.
"I`m sure there`s some bloke at FIFA at the moment now who does the rankings who`s got a headache trying to work out how a team ranked as low as we are can play that kind of football."
Australia were irresistible at Sydney`s Stadium Australia, smashing in three goals before the break in a performance which man-of-the-match Robbie Kruse said could have yielded "seven or eight".
Beaten coach Paul Le Guen named Australia as favourites for the tournament, belying their ranking which rates them as 10th out of the 16 teams.
Le Guen`s assessment is also a far cry from just a few days ago, when Australia`s poor recent record and low ranking had made a maiden Asian Cup triumph look unlikely.
When asked whether Australia could now handle the pressure of being favourites, Postecoglou snorted: "Please mate -- I reckon I`ll handle it okay. I handled people writing us off, I think I can handle a bit of hype. I`ve got a real belief in this group of players.
"Whether people think we`re favourites now, or they still think we`re ranked 300 in the world doesn`t make any difference to me," he added.
The Socceroos are through to the last eight even before their final Group A game against South Korea, who also qualified after a less convincing 1-0 win over Kuwait in Canberra.
The two title contenders will meet in Brisbane on Saturday with the prize of finishing top of the group, a position more likely to carry an easier quarter-final draw.