Backing up mentally from the high of beating Malaysia will be the biggest challenge facing Canberra FC, says coach Miro Trninic.
Less than 48 hours after stunning its international rival, Canberra FC turns its attention to extending its lead at the top of the National Premier League when it takes on Woden Valley at Woden Park on Saturday.
It will be difficult to erase the memory of Thursday night as the part-timers of Canberra FC - with the help of a few guest players from rival NPL clubs - upset the professionals from the south-east Asian country 3-2 at Deakin Stadium. While Malaysia is ranked a lowly 159th in the world and was hammered 5-0 by the Socceroos at Canberra Stadium in 2011, Canberra FC showed the strength of the local competition with a quality performance.
Trninic used his full arsenal of 22 players, along with one-off imports Dustin Wells and Jack Green (both Belconnen United) and Hristjan Tanoski (Canberra Olympic), to give them the best chance of being physically fresh to face Woden.
''I don't think fitness will be the problem because none of our players played more than 60 minutes,'' Trninic said.
''Mentally is going to be the challenge because the boys are flying high. My job is to bring them back to earth.
''We're only halfway into the championship, so the boys need to come back to reality.''
Canberra FC holds a four-point lead over Canberra Olympic, and will be boosted by the addition of former Young Socceroos captain Kaz Patafta.
The 24-year-old played the second half of the match against Malaysia and showed glimpses of the touches that had him play for Portuguese giant Benfica.
It was Patafta's first competitive game in 18 months after hanging up the boots following A-League stints with Melbourne Victory and Newcastle Jets.
''He did well - you can see after one, two touches he's got a lot of talent,'' Trninic said. ''In a few weeks, he'll be a quality player in this league.''
In Sunday's games, the Monaro Panthers face a difficult task when they travel to Nijong Oval to take on the Cooma Tigers, Tuggeranong United hosts Canberra Olympic, and the AIS takes on Canberra City.
Meanwhile, a Youth United team featuring Canberra's best under-20 players will take on the National Youth League squad of the Newcastle Jets on July 8 at the AIS.