Analysis: Luongo shines as Caltex Socceroos' midfield leader
Aaron Mooy's injury raised alarm prior to the Caltex Socceroos' clash with Colombia, but 90 minutes later and Massimo Luongo more than accounted for his team-mate's absence.
Luongo produced undoubtedly his best performance since the AFC Asian Cup as he steered Australia to a morale-boosting 0-0 draw against the world number 13 at Craven Cottage.
The 25-year-old was back to his best: snappy in the tackle, clear-headed in possession and impressively quick with his feet.
He could well have capped off the enterprising 90-minute display with what would have been a sublime individual goal, but Bert van Marwijk rightly said he was "very satisfied" with the Queens Park Rangers star.
“I already knew, but he was one of our best players,” said van Marwijk.
Indeed, it could well cause the Dutchman to consider breaking up what many expect to be his preferred holding midfield partnership of Mooy and Mile Jedinak.
Perhaps most compelling is that this effort, much like those in 2015, came under a heavy spotlight.
Friendly context aside, Van Marwijk's men were clearly steeled for a shot at redemption following the unsettling loss to Norway in Oslo.
The Colombian fans were boisterous and unforgiving and their team, headlined by James Rodriguez, benefited from the same measure of talent.
Luongo, though, was up to the task. He led his team in passes, key passes and crosses, while only Mat Leckie attempted the same number of shots.
The evidence points to a mature, confident Luongo being an extremely valuable contributor at Russia 2018.
Spanish legend Villa gives Mabil stunner nod of approval
Awer Mabil is turning heads around the footballing world right now - and one of the sports biggest names has taken notice. Mabil marked his rise to prominence with a sensational opening goal in the Socceroos' 3-2 triumph over Syria earlier this morning, an effort so striking i
LIVE BLOG: Mabil's bold insistence, Grant lauds Aussie fans
The Socceroos secured second spot in Group B and a place in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ Round of 16 thanks to their entertaining 3-2 win over Syria in Al Ain. Keep up with all the reaction from that match along with breaking news and the inside word from camp in our LIVE BLOG
Social media reacts to the Socceroos' last-gasp victory over Syria
The Socceroos booked a spot in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ knockout stages on Wednesday morning (AEDT) following a dramatic 3-2 victory over Syria, with the thrilling contest in Al Ain providing plenty of talking points. Stunning strikes from Awer Mabil and Tom Rogic, plus a s
Gallery: Best pics from Socceroos' win over Syria
The Socceroos made it back-to-back wins at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ after their thrilling 3-2 win over Syria in Al Ain on Wednesday morning (AEDT). Tom Rogic scored a stoppage-time winner to ensure second spot in Group B for Graham Arnold’s side, after earlier goals f