Socceroos midfielder Ajdin Hrustic scored two goals on his return to club football to help Eintracht Frankfurt secure their first Bundesliga win of 2022.
After returning from international duty with the Socceroos, Hrustic came off the bench at halftime to give his Eintracht Frankfurt side a boost as they were locked in a 1-1 deadlock against VfB Stuttgart - and he did just that.
Within 90 seconds of coming on, the 25-year-old had fired a brilliant side volley through a sea of legs and into the bottom-left corner after being found unmarked on the edge of the area.
Stuttgart fired back to level the game once more but Hrustic was on hand to secure all three points. After receiving a short pass at the top of the box, he scored a second from nearly the same place as his first.
Not only did he help secure a crucial three points as Eintracht chase a European position, but Hrustic’s two goals also ended his Bundesliga goal drought that extended to May 2021.
“It was a great day for us because we didn't have such an easy start to the new year so we knew how important it was to get the three points,” Hrustic told Sportschau post-match.
“It wasn't a perfect game by me but with two goals, I'm sure the coach is happy and as a team, we are pleased with the three points.”
Hrustic’s first goal drew plaudits from many, but he explained that both were the result of training ground moves.
“I tried the first goal with Filip (Kostić) against Leipzig at home and it didn't quite work out,” Hrustic explained to Eintracht Frankfurt TV.
“But it was a super ball from Christopher Lenz, he gave me a super cross, I hit the ball great and everything worked. To be honest, I didn't expect it – but a goal is a goal.
“The second goal was similar to my goal against Strasbourg, but today against a different player and in a different direction.
“I will take both of them. The three points are what counts for me, the boys and the team.
“We are a team and we always give 100 percent together and that's what makes us special.”
Hrustic played 30 minutes for the Socceroos in their most recent qualifier against Oman after replacing Tom Rogic in the 2-2 draw in Muscat.
But despite returning from international duty only days prior, Hrustic said he was never in doubt to play against Stuttgart.
“You are only tired when your head says you're tired,” he said.
“It's all very much a matter in the head and I pushed on for 45 minutes so that's what counts.”
Hrustic’s Eintracht side are next in action on Sunday morning as they host VfL Wolfsburg.