Mark Schwarzer comes good again

Not for the first time in these World Cup qualifiers, Mark Schwarzer has played a major part in the Socceroos getting the a good result.

Not for the first time in these World Cup qualifiers, Mark Schwarzer has played a major part in the Socceroos getting the a good result.

Against China, he saved a last minute penalty, to earn a point and then on Sunday night at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane against Iraq, he made two telling one-on-one saves that could have quite possibly seen the tie go the way of the visitors.

Later in the change room, Schwarzer said to his coach Pim Verbeek ‘yeah, I was just doing my job-, but his value in that game was just as important as that of Harry Kewell, who ultimately scored the winning goal shortly after half time.

“I obviously earned my money and it was nice to come out from the game with a clean sheet,” he said in typical modest manner.

“The main thing was we won the game and in weeks to come people will look back at this result and just go we won 1-0, regardless of how the game went.

“We won it; we got the three points and we-re through.

Asked whether the luck was starting to go our way after years of it going the other way, Schwarzer concurred, but said the luck was well earned.

“You earn your own luck; you work at it. Of course there are instances where you probably can-t do much about it and you are on the wrong side of the fence but recently, we have been a little bit lucky; a little bit fortunate. All the best teams in the world have that fortunate run, which you earn and make your own luck.”

While wanting to get qualifying over and done with as quickly as possible, the now- Fulham Athletic goalkeeper knows the challenge to do that will not be easy.

“It will be a massive boost (to qualify early),” he said. “What we can-t underestimate is how difficult the challenge is going to be.

“Conditions are extremely difficult and Iraq are a decent side. They showed tonight they are a dangerous side; they counter very well and have some very good ball-playing players. You just can-t underestimate them by any means and I think we have to go over there with the right mind set and hopefully if we get the result we need then it can almost be over with, which would be great.

“First and foremost you try not to lose; that goes without saying and if it means we are only going to get a point then so be it.

“By no means is that a bad result, it would a good result and we-ve just got to work on not losing the game; that-s the main thing.”

Asked whether Pim-s Asian experience was invaluable in these games, Schwarzer was in no doubt.

“Massively,” he said. “He-s a very calm character; he-s very assuring; he is very direct as well and says it as he sees it. The guys very much appreciate it and respect him for it.

“I mean the first half we didn-t play very well and we were lucky at times; we rode our luck at times and he was very calm and collected inside and basically told us straight how we had to play and what we needed to do.

“The guys went out there and lifted in the second half, albeit they had a couple of chances to steal the game. That-s going to happen; they-re a good countering side and have some very good footballers in their team as well.”