Luongo confident Caltex Socceroos will get 'even better'

 

Caltex Socceroos hero Massimo Luongo is convinced his side will get “even better” ahead of the AFC Asian Cup 2019.

Luongo stabbed home from close range to score an injury-time equaliser for the Caltex Socceroos in an exciting 1-1 friendly draw with Korea Republic on Saturday evening.

Graham Arnold’s new-look style was on full display in Brisbane and Australia created chance after chance, with only a lack of composure in front of goal stopping them from taking the lead.

READ: 'The pool is getting deeper': Arnold hails Caltex Socceroos' attacking options
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But when Hwang Ui-jo’s 22nd-minute goal looked like settling the contest, the Caltex Socceroos produced a late rally, leading to Luongo’s simple tap-in.

“We did the right things for 90 minutes. Obviously we went a goal down and the game changes,” Luongo told www.socceroos.com.au.

“Teams like that, they just get behind the ball and they try to see it out. It’s always easier to defend when you’re a goal up and you’ve got something to hold onto.

“As the game ticks on, they dropped and dropped and we looked better and better. We didn’t give up. We didn’t stop.

“We sort of figured out our Plan B and a way how to get around them and get in behind them and we created a lot of chances.

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“I think they created two or three and we looked good throughout the 90 minutes. A few things we need to touch up on but it’s all progress.”

The press

Luongo said video analysis of how the Caltex Socceroos fared with their press would prove extremely helpful, both before Tuesday’s friendly against Lebanon, and the AFC Asian Cup 2019.

“[We] know what we want to do, how we want to press and how we want to set up the press,” he said.

“A lot of that is focused on the striker and the wide men and the number 10 and how we are able to, sort of, push them into a situation where we can win the ball back and counter from there - and our first pass has to be forward.


“It doesn’t always work obviously, that’s the risk when you press. But I think the reward is you win the ball back up high and create chances.

“Few little tweaks and video analysis and we’ll probably get things even better for the next game and then the Asian Cup.”

Socceroos