Aussie footballer Lewis Miller cops ‘disgusting’ abuse from trolls after Asian Cup cameo for Socceroos
Socceroo Lewis Miller has been subject to a barrage of online abuse after his nightmare cameo for the Socceroos.
Miller made two costly errors in Australia’s Asian Cup quarter-final capitulation to South Korea which turned the game from a 1-0 lead to 1-2 loss in extra time.
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The defender was brought on in the 73rd minute due to Nathaniel Atkinson struggling with an ankle knock and all hell soon broke loose.
Australia were leading in the dying minutes at Al Janoub Stadium and on the verge of reaching the semi-final when Son Heung-min burst forward and Miller unnecessarily dived in, giving away a penalty.
It was labelled a “a brain explosion” from the commentary team, as well as “a brain fade” and “needless”.
Hwang Hee-chan buried the spot-kick to take the game to extra-time.
Miller then brought down Hwang on the edge of the penalty box and Son curled home the winning free kick in the 104th minute.
Following the incidents angry fans took to social media to target Miller.
Mitch Duke also came under fire for missing two chances.
“Heartbreaking for the Socceroos. If it wasn’t for some mistakes, sure, they might be through. But some of the vitriol online around Lewis Miller and Mitch Duke is disgusting. Do people think they genuinely meant to give up those fouls/miss those chances? Be better,” said sports journalist Lachlan McKirdy on social media.
While journalist Tom Williams wrote: “Feel awful for Lewis Miller and Mitch Duke. The abuse they’re copping is disgusting and unnecessary. It’s fine to criticise a player’s performance but there’s a line. People forget that footballers are human beings that actually read some of the comments on here.”
Meanwhile, the Socceroos coach Graham Arnold said he had reached out to an inconsolable Miller.
“I put my arm around him and gave him a hug and told him that these things are lessons in life and you learn from these type of things and you move forward,” Arnold said.
“These boys will be on the plane in the next five or six hours to get back to their clubs and he’s got to get back to his club and obviously it’s a different environment to here and he’ll be fine.”
Miller, 23, wouldn’t stop to speak to media in the mixed zone, but his senior teammates went in to bat for the Hibernian defender.
Centre-back Harry Souttar said: “We win as a team, we lose as a team.
“We’ve got to learn from it. Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made mistakes in games … everyone makes mistakes and that’s one of them.
“We’re not going to sit and criticise him and point him out because we can’t let it get to that moment.
“Can we defend it better when he (Son) comes inside first and foremost? For me personally, probably.”
Captain Mat Ryan noted Australia had failed to take multiple chances to double their lead and insisted “no one is ever hung out to dry in this team”.
Defender Aziz Behich recalled his own horror moment in a World Cup qualifier in 2021.
“We’ve all been on the end of these types of things, moments in football. I’ve had one myself against Japan where the ball ricocheted off me into our own goal and we lost the game,” Behich said.
“So it’s a part of football. If you don’t hit these rock bottoms, it doesn’t make you stronger. We’ll put our arms around him.
“He’s a great lad and also he’s going to be a great player. He’s still young, he’s in the early stages of his career. He’s doing well overseas in Scotland.”
– With AAP