Socceroo coach Ange Postecoglou has praised the performances of young guns Massimo Luongo and Bailey Wright in his side’s drought-breaking win over Saudi Arabia.
Earning his first start in the Green and Gold, Luongo was Australia’s best in an attacking midfield role showing some classy touches and linking up well with Tim Cahill.
Wright was also superb, capping his debut with what turned out to be the match-sealing goal in the 3-2 win at Craven Cottage.
“Mass (Luongo) was excellent. If anything we could have used him more,” Postecoglou told Fox Sports.
“With some clever runs off the ball we could have got more out of him. He’s a very talented young player, we’ll keep putting him out there and he’ll keep learning every time he plays.
“Bailey was really composed in the first half. We lost (Alex Wilkinson) after five minutes, we can’t seem take a trick at the back and the whole idea was to have someone experienced alongside him.
“But his first half he was good. The second half he was ok but we lost our shape and composure and when that happens the back four gets stretched.”
Desperate to snap their five-game losing streak, the Socceroos made a fast-start in London with goals to Cahill and skipper Mile Jedinak giving them a 2-0 lead inside six minutes.
The Saudis hit back from the penalty through Hassan Muath before Wright restored the two-goal lead, only for Taisir Al Jassim to set-up a nervy finish with a strike late-on.
“It wasn’t really (poor) defending but just as a team we lost our composure,” Postecoglou said of his side’s second half struggles.
“But I’d hate to think what the average age of our back four was at the end there. There’s some good lessons, there was some progress tonight.
“I know exactly where we’re at and what we have to do and we’ll keep moving forward. We’re creating some depth and exposing players to international football. As we get closer to the Asian cup will have a bigger pool to choose from.”