Hrustic’s heroism inspires the Socceroos | Sunshine Coast every day
Ajdin Hrustic showed there is life beyond Aaron Mooy and Tom Rogic with a brilliant performance for the Socceroos on their successful return to the pitch after an absence of over 18 months.
Appropriately wearing the No.10 shirt, Hrustic performed superb as game designer in Australia’s 3-0 win over Kuwait in the Socceroos’ first game since November 2019.
The victory in Kuwait City took the Socceroos to 15 perfect points in five appearances in Group B of the Asian Football Confederation’s World Cup qualifiers.
With three more Group B games in the week and a half to come against Chinese Taipei, Nepal and Jordan, the Socceroos – barring a major disaster – are set to win the group to secure a place in the next phase. qualifying.
And Hrustic, 24, who has the opportunity to control the Australian attack in the absence of Mooy and Rogic, is expected to play a major role after his outstanding performance against Kuwait, which included his first goal for the Socceroos, a brilliant one. second. half-free kick from outside the area which wound up goalkeeper Sulaiman Abdulghafoor.
“I believe he is going to be one of the stars of the future of the new generation,” Socceroos coach Graham Arnold said of the Dandenong product.
“He has a great work ethic, a great professional, a great kid overall and it’s a pleasure to work with him.”
Despite making his debut for the Socceroos in 2017, Hrustic’s game against Kuwait was only his fourth for Australia at the senior level.
“He’s a completely different player,” said Arnold, who added that Hrustic’s game had taken to another level since his transfer from Dutch club Groningen to German Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt.
Hrustic said he has matured “mentally and physically” on and off the pitch.
“I kept working hard and it paid off, and as you can see now, I managed to help the team with a goal,” said the former young South Melbourne player.
Hrustic also earned the Socceroos a first-half penalty, which ultimately led to a goal after Abdulghafoor’s save on Martin Boyle’s shot on goal was held back by Jackson Irvine, who scored from close range. in the 24th minute to double Australia’s lead after captain Mathew Leckie had put his side forward after just 55 seconds.
Also impressive was right-back Fran Karacic, who made his long-awaited debut for the Socceroos three years after being among the last entrenchments of Australia’s 2018 World Cup squad.
“Fran Karacic was exceptional,” Arnold said of the Croatia-born Italy-based defender whose father is from Australia.
“He’s only been meeting the players for seven days, and playing the way he did was just amazing,” said Arnold.
There was also Socceroos’ debut for latecomer Kenny Dougall and former Adelaide United midfielder Riley McGree.
Former Brisbane Roar youth team midfielder Dougall, who scored two goals at Wembley last week to help Blackpool secure a place in the English league, came on in the 64th minute for James Holland.
McGree, currently with England club Birmingham City, replaced Hrustic in the 83rd minute.
Australia 3 (Mathew Leckie 1 ‘, Jackson Irvine 24’, Ajdin Hrustic 66 ‘) d Kuwait 0.
Arbitrator: Jumpei Iida (Japan)
Socceroos team: Mat Ryan, Fran Karacic, Ryan McGowan, Milos Degenek, Aziz Behich, James Holland (Kenny Dougall 64 ‘), Jackson Irvine, Martin Boyle, Ajdin Hrustic (Riley McGree 83’), Awer Mabil (Chris Ikonomidis 64 ‘), Mathew Leckie (Mitch Duc 78 ‘).
Originally posted as Hrustic’s heroism inspires Socceroos