Australia went toe-to-toe with one of the world's most exciting and talented nations in their 0-0 draw with Colombia in London overnight.
Yes, Australia rode their luck against the nation ranked 16 in the world, particularly in the second half when the Green and Gold had Danny Vukovic and the woodwork to thank.
But overall the Caltex Socceroos (ranked 37 in the world) looked more comfortable, balanced and defensively compact than in Oslo a few days earlier.
And it was a strong starting XI that Australia had, with Sainsbury and Jurman still to come back in.
Colombia’s aggressive mentality and individual quality meant they were on the front foot for most of the game.
And the stats reflect this domination with the South Americans bossing possession (as expected) at a raucous Craven Cottage, which was a sea of gold from supporters of each side.
Australia’s high press was more conservative but they were more disciplined between the lines and were rarely stretched.
The shape work Bert van Marwijk did in recent days obviously paid off. There was a composure and balance to the side.
Van Marwijk's men certainly didn't sit back, but against such a talented attacking threat, the game was often played in Australia's half.
But when they were in possession the likes of Rogic and Luongo were very positive.
With Aaron Mooy a late withdrawal, Luongo, in particular, showed why he's such a key cog. He looked every bit the international player.
In a man of the match performance, the QPR midfielder was at his very best. Creative, hard-working and linked well with defenders behind him and the attack in front.
His jinky run and shot in the second half a beautiful example of what the 2015 Asian Cup hero brings to this side.
The stats suggest Colombia dominated (see below) but in the end, Jose Pekerman's side couldn't find a way past either Brad Jones or Vukovic, who won't forget his 33rd birthday in a hurry.
MORE MATCH FACTS
- The Socceroos’ lowest possession figure from a single fixture in the Asian World Cup Qualifiers for the Russia Finals was 50.7%; they posted one of just 37.4% at Craven Cottage.
- Danny Vukovic has faced four penalties in the Belgian First Division A this season, saving none of them.
- Colombia missed the opportunity to notch three consecutive victories for the first time since 2016.
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