Luongo: ‘Colombia draw shows we’ve come a long way’
Massimo Luongo believes the Caltex Socceroos got things 90% right against Colombia after the two sides played out an entertaining 0-0 draw in London on Wednesday (AEDT).
Luongo was among Australia’s best at Craven Cottage, at the heart of many of the side’s best attacks and going close to scoring himself in the second half with a classy run inside the box before shooting straight at David Ospina.
Goalkeeper Danny Vukovic also came up big for the Caltex Socceroos, saving a late penalty to preserve a draw.
A strong response from the side after their 4-1 defeat to Norway in Oslo on the weekend.
“I thought we did well. Again, we’re in that transition stage,” Luongo told Fox Sports.
“We’re trying to nail down a few things off the ball. I think we got it 90% right, besides the penalty.
“We’ve come a long way since the beginning of camp, I just think maybe the nerves got in…but we got it right for the most part today.
“But there’s a lot to come. I think we still have to work on our out ball and going forward maybe we need to tweak a few things. We’ve got to be proud of ourselves tonight.”
The Caltex Socceroos squad will now go back to club duties for the next eight weeks before the vital pre-FIFA World Cup camp in mid-May.
It’s there coach Bert van Marwijk will get close to a month to work with his players before their opening match in Russia against France on June 16.
Asked where the team is at after the first two games under the new boss, the QPR midfielder said: “We’re still a little bit off. We have a really important camp in May.
“We have to tweak a few things, we need everyone singing from the same song sheet. And then from there we have to see what players are available and what players can bring.
“We have to nail down as a team and then if we can add a little bit of us in there and take initiative and create something, maybe a little bit of some magic somewhere on the pitch, then that’s just a bonus.
"As long as we get the team performance first, and we will come Russia. We’ve come a long way already.”
Luongo said he relished the battle with Colombian and Bayern Munich star James Rodriguez.
“I think we kicked each other a few times. It’s nice playing against big players like that just to see where you are at.” he said.
When are your Caltex Socceroos in action this weekend?
Mathew Leckie could win his first minutes of the season this weekend after shaking off an injury problem to get back out on the track for Hertha Berlin. Meanwhile, there's another big Premier League test in store for Mathew Ryan, while fierce rivalries are set to play out acro
YOUR SAY: Fans decide Tim Cahill's best Caltex Socceroos moment
Australian football fans have had their say and now Tim Cahill's greatest Caltex Socceroos moment can be revealed. LEGEND: Cahill to get Caltex Socceroos send-off in Lebanon game DON'T MISS OUT: Be there when we farewell a legend Ahead of his farewell to international foot
Aussies Abroad: Rogic and Vukovic prevail in UEFA Europa League openers
A bumper morning of UEFA Europa League fixtures produced mixed results for our Caltex Socceroos. Here's our wrap of all the morning action! PROGRESS REPORT: Awer Mabil assessed AUSSIES ABROAD: Degenek denies Napoli on UEFA Champions League debut MORE AUSSIES ABROAD: Arzan
'Pace and ability': Meulensteen excited by new artillery in Caltex Socceroos setup
He helped make Cristiano Ronaldo a superstar and now ex-Manchester United first-team coach Rene Meulensteen likes what he sees from Australia's emerging crop of attackers. The former Fulham manager and United youth guru worked with the Caltex Socceroos for the first time this