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Rogic 'owed us one' - and he delivered

Soccer

Ange Postecoglou has been envious while watching Tom Rogic score match-winning goals for Scottish giants Celtic.

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The Australian coach has thought: when is he going to it for us?

“We have said on the coaches bench a few times, it’s great watching him doing it for Celtic – but he owed us one,” Postecoglou said.

Rogic owes Australia no longer after a stunning strike sealed a 3-2 win against Saudi Arabia in last night’s World Cup qualifier in Adelaide.

After striker Tomi Juric scored a brace, only for the Saudis to twice equalise, Rogic broke the deadlock with a 20-metre missile from his left boot.

“He’s a hell of a player,” Postecoglou said of Rogic, who less than a fortnight ago scored Celtic’s winner in the Scottish Cup final.

“And the best is ahead of him, no doubt about that.”

Rogic, a media-shy 24-year-old who dodged reporters post-match, was disappointed with his first-half effort against the Saudis, Postecoglou said.

But the coach believes Rogic wasn’t the only one in a team which he said was overly anxious.

“He was probably one of the ones trying to rush things a little,” Postecoglou said.

But the former Mariner was supremely influential in the second half as the Socceroos settled into stride.

“Our second half was very pleasing and very strong, it will give the players a great deal of encouragement in terms of what we’re trying to build,” Postecoglou said.

“Even though we were a bit scrappy in that first half, the intent was still to do the right thing. In the second half, the intent and the execution were there.”

SOCCEROOS PLAYER RATINGS

TOMI JURIC – 9. Scored two goals – one a gift, the other a header – and was a constant threat.

BRAD SMITH – 4. Subbed at halftime after having limited impact along the left flank.

TOM ROGIC – 9. Scored a stunning match-winner and was a creative and classy midfield force throughout.

JACKSON IRVINE – 4. A couple of classy touches but couldn’t find much time on the ball. Subbed in the 63rd minute.

MATHEW LECKIE – 7. Some shaky moments when forced to defend but delivered a pinpoint cross for Juric’s second goal.

MILE JEDINAK – 7. Typically composed and, at times, imposing in his holding midfield role.

AARON MOOY – 8.5. Industrious, clever and crafty in an assured midfield performance.

MILOS DEGENEK – 7. Made some important disruptions of Saudi attacks in a steady game.

TRENT SAINSBURY – 7. Another confident and competent defensive performance, made a crucial tackle late.

RYAN MCGOWAN – 6. Was wobbly at times as the Saudis got in behind him at right-back, but reliable enough.

MAT RYAN – 7. Twice beaten through no fault of his own and had little else to do.

Substitutes:

AZIZ BEHICH – 6. Replaced Smith at halftime and was lively along the flank.

ROBBIE KRUSE – 4. Replaced Irvine and had limited influence in the last half-hour.

MASSIMO LUONGO – N/A. Replaced Juric in the 83rd minute and wasn’t on long enough to leave an imprint.

AAP

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