Van Marwijk salutes Luongo display
Australia coach Bert van Marwijk commended the impressive display of Massimo Luongo during Tuesday's 0-0 draw with Colombia, highlighting his ability to find the right spaces in midfield.
Having lost 4-1 to Norway, who have not qualified for the World Cup, on Friday, alarm bells started to ring with less than three months to go until the World Cup.
The performance left a lot of questions and highlighted many issues, as Van Marwijk's first game in charge showed how much preparation they still had to do.
But at Craven Cottage on Tuesday, things were a little different.
While Australia were not exactly a rampant force going forward, they did manage to hold on to a commendable 0-0 draw against a Colombia side which beat France – among the World Cup favourites – just four days earlier and QPR midfielder Luongo impressed Van Marwijk.
"Very good," Van Marwijk said of Luongo's display in his post-match news conference. "But I already knew that.
Mass ‘destruction’ Luongo easily best player on the park for me and I’m not saying that just because he’s my roomie! #greatgame
— Trent Sainsbury (@Tsainsbury92) March 27, 2018
"He was one of our best players. He understands it, he knows the spaces and where he has to stand.
"He's also strong. You can see the chance he had that he created himself, it was his quality. I was very satisfied about him."
Despite the bitterness of the Norway defeat, captain Mile Jedinak is content with how the international break has been for Australia, suggesting it was one of those get togethers that leaves you excited for the next.
"It's been good," he told reporters. "Obviously it's all been a little new to everybody, but I think by the end of it, it's one of those where you can't wait to get back together again.
"There are going to be changes, but that's for us to understand, get to grips with.
Loads of positives to take from this 10 day camp and massive result against a world class team. Great team performance and it always makes me proud to represent my country pic.twitter.com/xNGKSc23cu
— TIM CAHILL (@Tim_Cahill) March 27, 2018
"Obviously different managers have different styles, we have to adapt and we will do that and continue to work hard in order to give ourselves the best possible chance we can of going through [in the World Cup]."