Caltex Socceroos striker Robbie Kruse said it felt like a loss after Saudi Arabia scored late to draw 2-2 draw with the Australians in World Cup qualifying on Friday morning (AEDT) in Jeddah.
The Saudis took an early lead but Australia worked their way into a winning position thanks to goals from Trent Sainsbury just before the break and Tomi Juric with 20 minutes left.
But Saudi substitute Nasser Al Shamrani popped up in the box to poke home the equaliser with ten minutes to go.
Aussie keeper Mat Ryan pulled off a vital stop in the final few minutes as the Green and Gold held on for a point in the cauldron of Jeddah.
Kruse described the conditions at a packed King Abdullah Sports City Stadium as “like a sauna”.
“But we don’t want to use the conditions as an excuse.
"It’s always a grind in these places in Asia and we managed to get a deserved win in UAE [on MD 2] but unfortunately today we just couldn’t hold out,” the striker told Fox Sports.
"It feels like a loss...
“It’s disappointing. I think we deserved the win. But they were a decent side in the end.”
Both teams remain unbeaten in this final phase of qualifying with seven points from three games heading into Tuesday’s clash with Japan in Melbourne.
“It’s a massive game,” he added when asked about Japan.
“We don’t fear Japan. We respect them. They’ve struggled of late as well.
"We have to travel home now. It’ll be a tough journey but hopefully we’ll recover and be in good form.”