Australia have shown they are last-16 contenders and deserved more than a point from their opening two World Cup games, according to Josip Skoko.
The Socceroos played out a 1-1 draw with Denmark after opening their Group C campaign with an unfortunate 2-1 loss to France.
Bert van Marwijk’s men, who need a win over Peru on Tuesday to have any chance of reaching the knockout stage, finished strongly against Denmark, and perhaps should have claimed three points.
Skoko, who made 51 appearances for the Socceroos throughout his career, believes the performance was proof Australia were worthy of challenging for a spot in the last 16.
“They did really well. They set up tactically very well, they were quite close to each other, tight, didn’t give the Danes too many chances,” he told Omnisport.
“And just when I thought they weren’t going to take it to the Danes, they did, and maybe the goal helped in that.
“I don’t really like when the Aussies sit back too much and just play tactically, I like them to come out and really have a crack and they did that when they needed to. They came out, they attacked and they created a lot of chances, which full credit to them, they really should’ve got the result, should’ve got the three points.
“They outplayed them in the end and deserved more. I really like the fact that they looked confident, it wasn’t a nervous performance, it was a solid, controlled performance and one that says Australia is on the stage, should be there and it’s a proper, proper contender to get through to the next round.”
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The draw against Denmark followed the loss to France, who opened the scoring through Antoine Griezmann’s penalty before an unlucky Aziz Behich own goal gave them three points.
While Skoko feels the Socceroos should have more than one point, the former midfielder said the focus should be on Peru.
“At the end of the day, you’ve still got this one game where you’ve still got some sort of chance of getting through,” he said.
“Certainly I thought in the first game they deserved more. Things went against us.”
Skoko added: “One point from these two games, we’ve sort of felt you’ve won two games and you’re only on one point so it’s a little bit disappointing with the points.
“But with still one game to go, you’ve still got something ahead of you and hopefully things can really go our way in the last game and we can get a win.”
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