Caltex Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou paid tribute to the youngsters in his side - particularly left-sided wingback Alex Gersbach - after Australia's 1-1 draw with Cameroon at the FIFA Confederations Cup on Friday morning in St Petersburg.
After a 3-2 loss to Germany earlier in the week, a win was vital against the African champions.
But it wasn't to be against Cameroon who proved to be a handful on the counter with their powerful, pacy forwards.
Former Sydney FC attacking defender Alex Gersbach caught the eye, winning the second half penalty for Australia and providing plenty of impetus down the left after coming on as a sub.
The other two teams in the group - Chile and Germany - were set to face each other later in the day.
CAMEROON CLASS ON COUNTER
“We controlled large parts of the game. But obviously they [Cameroon] were very good in transition. And when they break they are hard to stop at times,” Postecoglou told SBS TV.
“But for the most part we controlled the game and we played at our tempo but we’re disappointed at the goal before half time we conceded.
“We were pretty comfortable at that point.”
SPIRIT AND COMMITMENT
“Credit to the players. We had less rest than them [Cameroon], they were out on our feet but we still kept going.
“Sometimes our final ball let us down a little bit. And we lacked a little bit of composure but we got in some good areas.
“We controlled large parts of the game and we nullified most of their threats.
“They [Cameroon] are a great team in transition and they caught us out but for the most part the boys did well.”
GERSBACH STEPS UP
“He’s a good kid. And we’ve got some good kids coming through. And Alex is one of them and we’ll keep exposing them at this level," Postecoglou said of the Rosenborg player.
“And you look at the average age of this team and this team will be around for a long time.”