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Confederations Cup 2017: Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou gets grumpy in Russia

Sochi: The question has to be asked. Is Ange Postecoglou the Kanye West of Australian sport?

Both are divisive individuals but creative visionaries. Both feel misunderstood by the public. Both are respected within their field and have a couple of notorious rivalries. And both are legendary grumps.

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Postecoglou's gruffness was on full display on Sunday in Sochi when fulfilling media obligations before Australia's Confederations Cup opener with Germany on Monday night (Tuesday morning AEST).

A question about whether the Russian tournament and upcoming World Cup qualification would define his legacy clearly irked the 51-year-old, and then came a suggestion from a British journalist that set him off: "You seem a bit irritated and prickly with some answers. Is this a sign of uneasiness or pressure? Could it carry over to the players?"

Postecoglou rapidly unloaded in response.

"You must know me very well. How many times have you met me before?" he snapped. "Maybe that's just my demeanour. There's your answer."

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The Socceroos coach was equally unimpressed by the suggestion that he would be facing a weakened and youthful German side.

"Let's dispel one myth," he began. "When the teams walk out tomorrow, I reckon we'll be younger.

"Do the maths. From our starting 11 and their starting 11. I could be wrong but I don't reckon I will be."

The Socceroos coach could at least get excited about the challenge posed by the Germans, who boast a fearsome tournament record.

In 32 tournaments – World Cups, European Championships and Confederations Cups – Germany have failed to get out their group just five times, and just once this century.

"It's a great opening game for us. We're playing against the world champions. A team that wants to win the World Cup next year," Postecoglou said.

"We want to continue to evolve as a team and we want to do well here. We're not going to hide. We're going to measure ourselves against the best teams."

Germans wary of Australia's pace

Germany are bracing themselves for a speedy Socceroos assault, expecting to face a team of counter-attackers uninterested in holding the ball.

The Socceroos have a win, a draw and a loss against the Germans under Joachim Low's management.

SOCHI, RUSSIA - JUNE 18: Joachim Loew, head coach of the German national team talks to the media during a team Germany press conference at Fisht stadium on June 18, 2017 in Sochi, Russia. Germany will play against Australia on their Group B FIFA Confederation Cup Russia 2017 match on June 19, 2017 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Germany's coach Joachim Low expects fast attacks from Australia. Photo: Getty Images

Germany brutalised Australia in a 4-0 drubbing at the World Cup in 2010 but the following year Holger Osieck led Australia to a surprise 2-1 friendly win over his homeland. In their most recent meeting, Postecoglou's 2015 Asian Cup winners drew 2-2 in their first game after winning their continental crown.

Low said a steely defence would be essential in getting an edge over Australia.

"We need our defence to be stable and compact because Australia is a very good attacking team with very fast players. They're also moving in their forward positions," he said on Sunday.

Low promised to change up his tactics and teams through the tournament, which Germany regards as preparation for their World Cup defence in 2018.

Having left captain and first-choice goalkeeper Manuel Neuer at home, he nominated Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno to play against the Socceroos.

The gloveman, an ex-teammate of Robbie Kruse, echoed his manager's thoughts on Australia's key strength.

"Australia will be playing very quickly. They have a dynamic team on the field I'm sure," he said. "Robbie Kruse or Mathew Leckie are really fast players and we know them from the Bundesliga. They'll leave the ball to us and will counter-attack."

The overnight action

Portugal and Mexico fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw on Sunday, with each team scoring in the last five minutes.

Portugal looked set for a late win when Cedric Soares scored with a deflected shot in the 86th minute, but Hector Moreno equalised for Mexico with a header in stoppage time.

KAZAN, RUSSIA - JUNE 18: Ricardo Quaresma of Portugal and Andres Guardado of Mexico battle for possession during the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 Group A match between Portugal and Mexico at Kazan Arena on June 18, 2017 in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Portugal's Ricardo Quaresma (left) and Mexico's Andres Guardado battle for possession. Photo: Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo, coming off a tumultuous week off the field, had set up Ricardo Quaresma's opening goal for Portugal, and Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez hit Mexico's equaliser just before half-time.

The result left European champion Portugal and Gold Cup winner Mexico trailing host Russia in group A after Russia opened the tournament with a 2-0 win over New Zealand on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Arturo Vidal brushed off a hotly disputed video review to give Chile a 2-0 win over Cameroon.

Vidal's 81st-minute header after a pass from substitute Alexis Sanchez gave the South American champions a win which was anything but routine, before another goal was decided by video review.

The Chileans had thought they'd taken the lead in first-half stoppage time when Eduardo Vargas slotted the ball past Fabrice Ondoa after a pass from Vidal. Referee Damir Skomina awarded the goal and Chile's players started an elaborate goal celebration, but the decision was then sent for video review.

Players milled about in confusion, some briefly appearing to think the referee had blown for half-time.

The review found Vargas offside by a matter of inches, enraging him and Vidal, who angrily petitioned Skomina when he blew the whistle for half-time.

After Vidal put Chile ahead in the 80th, Vargas scored Chile's second - but only after another review.

AAP