Australia playmaker Tom Rogic drew little pleasure form an accomplished individual showing after his side went down to a 3-2 loss against Germany at the Confederations Cup.
Ange Postecoglou’s decision to field a three-man defence backfired during the opening stages and Australia found themselves overrun and outclassed by a vibrant, youthful Germany.
But Lars Stindl’s opener was all they had to show for their efforts and Rogic seized the initiative in the 41st minute, lashing a drive under Bernd Leno after Shkodran Mustafi blocked his initial effort.
That began a riotous period of four goals in 15 minutes either side of half-time, although Tomi Juri’s second for the Socceroos arrived on the back of a penalty from man-of-the-match Julian Draxler and Leon Goretzka’s strike three minutes after the break.
“It’s hard to look at it at on a personal level, especially in the light of the result, so there’s not really much to say on that,” said a visibly crestfallen Rogic afterwards.
“We controlled the game a bit more in the second half but in the end we weren’t good enough.
“But we have something to build on and can certainly play a lot better than we did.”
Those improvements will have to come next time out against Cameroon, who were also defeated in their first Group B match by Chile.
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Robbie Kruse was introduced after some words of half-time inspiration from Postecoglou and Rogic felt the former Bayer Leverkusen attacker helped to affect a turnaround of sorts.
“[Postecoglou] just said that we can play a lot better than we were playing,” he explained. “There was a little bit of frustration within ourselves at the first-half performance.
“Robbie is a quality player and when he came on he gave us a bit of a new threat. That was positive. We always believe in the way we play.”
Kruse offered an honest assessment of what he saw from the bench, conceding Germany should have been out of sight by the time he was introduced.
“The last 20 minutes we really had them under the pump by keeping the ball and keeping possession,” he said.
“They almost got us on the counter a couple of times but that’s the type of football we want to play.
“The first-half wasn’t good enough, they could have had three or four by half-time.
“In the next game, if we don’t get the three points, it’s all over so it’s a vital, vital game for us.”
The unattached 28-year-old is rumoured to be on the brink of a return to Germany with Kaiserslautern and he added: “I’m pretty close, things could be done pretty soon. I’ll have to see what happens in the next few days.”
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