Caltex Socceroo Jackson Irvine has continued 2018 where he left off last year.
2017 was Irvine’s breakthrough year with Australia.
The Hull City midfielder registered a debut goal (a bullet header in Sydney against UAE a year ago in a World Cup qualifier) and some impressive displays overall signalled his rise in the national team.
And again, in Australia’s first game of 2018 early on Saturday morning (AEST), it was his powerful header that opened the scoring against Norway in Olso.
Unfortunately, it was one of the few highlights in a 4-1 friendly loss to an energetic Norwegian side.
Irvine’s goal means he has been directly involved in three goals in his last four appearances for club and country combined.
His goal in Oslo coming off the back of one goal and one assist over his last three games for Hull City.
On a night when the positives were hard to find – though it’s still very early in the van Marwijk era – Irvine showed why he’s going to be a key man in Russia this June.
Five years after debuting for his nation, the 25-year-old is really starting to stamp his authority on the team.
OTHER MATCH FACTS FROM NORWAY V AUSTRALIA
- Australia have now won just one of their last 10 international friendlies (D3 L6), losing the last three in succession.
- They have conceded more in those last three friendly games (10) than their previous eight combined (nine).
- The Socceroos have failed to keep a clean sheet in 11 of their last 12 internationals, conceding 21 goals in that time.
- Each of Australia’s last four international goals has come from set-piece situations (two penalties, one free-kick, one corner).
- Ola Kamara’s hat-trick was the second by a Norway player in their last five international games after Mohamed Elyounoussi did so against San Marino back in October 2017.
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