Goal-scoring hero Tomi Juric believes patience and perseverance was the key to the Caltex Socceroos win over a stubborn Iraq in Perth on Thursday night.
Despite dominating possession and carving out a host of excellent scoring chances, Australia had to wait until the second half to get their goals in the 2-0 win.
Juric set up the first with a delicious cross for Massimo Luongo to blast home on 58 minutes before getting on the end of Aaron Mooy’s corner six minutes later to ice the result.
“We showed in the first half how we can move the ball but sometimes we got a little bit impatient and tried to force the pass. We lost possession too easily,” Juric admitted to Fox Sports.
“But we showed in the second half if we keep our patience we get our chances and we can finish them off.
“It was a great way for me to come back today,” the FC Luzern striker added.
“We put in a good performance tonight, it could have been a few more but unfortunately they didn’t go in. But it’s a great result for us to start off this campaign.”
Like Juric, skipper Mile Jedinak also felt the Caltex Socceroos tried to rush things when the early goal didn’t come.
But a reassuring word from coach Ange Postecoglou at the break calmed any nerves, and the side went out and capitalised in the second half.
“There were a few moments in the first half we’re we tried to force the issue a little bit, but we knew if we kept them moving around they would be wasting energy and it was only going to be a matter of time before we got the all-important breakthrough,” Jedinak said.
“We knew we had to bring it tonight and that’s what we did. We started the game off really well but the key message at half-time was just be patient, wear them down and we got our just rewards.
“It’s a great effort by the boys and a job well done.”