Caltex Socceroo skipper pleased with persistence

Skipper Mile Jedinak lauded the patience and persistence of his Caltex Socceroos after they left it late to topple Greece on Saturday night on a surface he also blasted.

Despite dominating for large periods and creating a host of good chances, it took a 93rd-minute goal to Mathew Leckie to hand the green and gold a 1-0 win at a rain-soaked ANZ Stadium.

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It was a torrid battle on the heavy pitch but Jedinak believes his side’s ability to stick to the task and jag a winner augurs well for what’s ahead in coming months.

“We kept at it, we always said to be persistent and don’t give up until the last kick of the game,” Jedinak said.

“It’s nice to see we were able to get a reward for some really good stuff throughout the game.

“That’s what we’re going to face going forward,” he added. 

“That’s the stuff we have to be patient with going forward and the one thing you can’t do is go away from the style of football you want to play when they are there to be got, you have to keep doing that.

“We maybe let them off the hook a couple of times with some of the finishing but in the end we got our reward with the goal.”

The Caltex Socceroos celebrate Mathew Leckie's late winner at ANZ Stadium.

The result was capped by the performance of central defender Milos Degenek on his first full-start, while right-back Jason Geria was also strong on his debut.

Rosenborg left-back Alex Gersbach also won his first cap when he came off the bench in the last 10 minutes.

“We’re testing these guys to step in and each and every one of them has to be proud of what they are doing at the moment,” Jedinak said.

“Jason Geria was fantastic in his first game. He looked right at home which is good. But everyone that’s getting a chance is performing well.”

Defender Jason Geria make a challenge on Greek midfielder Lazaros Christodoulopoulos in his Caltex Socceroos debut.

One thing the skipper wasn’t impressed with though was the state of the ANZ Stadium surface, which was bumpy and soggy after a day of torrential rain.

“It was pretty shocking to be honest. Being a Sydneysider I’m not too proud and something needs to be done,” he said.

“You’re asking these teams to come out here and travel from Europe, it’s not the way the game should be presented.”

The sides now head to Melbourne for the second game of the Dodoni Series on Tuesday night.