Caltex Socceroo attacking midfielder Massimo Luongo praised striker Tomi Juric after the pair hit the net in Australia’s 2-0 win over Iraq on Thursday night.
QPR’s Luongo, on the left of a front three, slotted home the decisive opener just before the hour mark courtesy of a Juric assist.
And seven minutes later the FC Luzern central striker got his reward for a strong display by poking home a second.
It was the perfect start to Australia’s first group game in the final phase of World Cup qualification.
Luongo enjoyed the freedom to get forward and the chance to work with a "big number nine" like Juric.
Luongo’s link-up play with Juric was excellent and as the game wore on, the pair became more influential.
“He offers something different. Every player that we put in from the 23 they offer something different and Tomi’s that big number nine that we can look forward to if we have to with a release," Luongo told reporters after the game.
“And he offers something in behind as well and he gets in the box which is handy.
“I wouldn’t say I got forward deliberately. I’d say it was just the way the game panned out,” Luongo added.
“The message more when I play for the Socceroos is to get on the ball more and try and threaten the goal be it with a pass or getting in the box.
“It did take a while for the opportunity to get in the box because they were quite tight at the back, but as the game went on they tired and we worked them well and got our chances.”
The message at half-time was be patient, said Luongo.
“The message was just keep doing what you’re doing and if anything don’t be impatient. We kept probing and to be fair they defended well and they had a game plan.
“But to be fair, to do that for 90 minutes is difficult.”
Opponent Watch: Denmark midfielder ruled out of FIFA World Cup™
France have played out a difficult training game against an Under-19 club opponent while Denmark have seen one of their key midfielders ruled out of the tournament with an injury. Plus the latest on Peru in this edition of Opponent Watch. DAY 29 WRAP: France game dissected
Revealed: What Jedinak said to Socceroos teammates after loss
Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak has explained what he said to teammates in a huddle following the narrow 2-1 loss to France at the FIFA World Cup™. Jedinak, who scored Australia’s goal from the penalty spot, was picked in midfield alongside Aaron Mooy and the duo produced a ste
The star a nation is built around: Denmark's key men
Denmark is the next name on the Socceroos’ list as they head to Samara for the second Group C fixture on Thursday night (AEST) – you can catch it at 10pm AEST on SBS and Optus Sport. Ranked 12th in the world, Denmark finished second in their qualifying group behind Poland and
Russia Wrap: ‘Biggest win in history’ after 52-year FIFA World Cup™ first
Both Germany and Brazil have been shocked in an incredible night of FIFA World Cup™ that left Mexico’s hero declaring this could be the biggest win in his country’s history. Plus Serbia get their FIFA World Cup™ off to a winning start in the other game on Monday morning AEST.