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.”
Australia make strong start in Phnom Penh on road to Thailand and Tokyo
The Australian U-23 National Team got their 2020 AFC U-23 Championship Qualification campaign off to a strong start in Cambodia on Saturday morning (AEDT), recording a solid 6-0 win over their hosts in Phnom Penh. From the outset Australia looked well prepared for their Cambo
'These boys are ready': Arnold confident ahead of AFC U-23 qualifiers
Graham Arnold was at the helm the last time an Australian team qualified for the Olympic Games with a squad skippered by Mark Milligan and containing a host of players who would go on to become Caltex Socceroos. Now 11 years on from those 2008 Games, Arnold leads a new crop of
'We have to thank Australia for giving us this opportunity': The magnificent mix of the Caltex Socceroos
Australia is a melting pot, and nothing illustrates that more than the country's national team, the Caltex Socceroos. Harmony Day, held each year on March 21, is Australia’s celebration of cultural diversity.
McGree and Genreau eager to play crucial role on road to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
Key Australia U-23s midfielder Riley McGree has declared he and his teammates are ‘ready and acclimatised’ to the stifling conditions in Cambodia, as they embark on qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. Australia face hosts Cambodia on Saturday morning (AEDT) in c