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Plenty of food for thought for Australia

7 February 2013-AAP


Heading in ... Cornthwaite did his Socceroos hopes no harm against Romania (Getty)

Socceroos coach Holger Osieck was left satisfied despite his side copping two late goals to suffer a 3-2 defeat to Romania in their friendly match in Malaga, Spain.

In a match used to fine-tuned preparations for next month's World Cup qualifier against Oman, Australia looked headed for a come-from-behind victory after taking the lead through defender Robert Cornthwaite in the 54th minute.

But strikes to Bogdan Stancu and Gabriel Torje inside the last ten minutes ensured Romania, ranked three places higher than Australia at No.33, triumphed.

Osieck made a raft of changes in the second half and felt it may have cost his team victory, but he took plenty of positives out of the match.

"When there is a couple of changes, there is always a change in the game," Osieck told Fox Sports.

"... this time it was at the expense of a victory, but on the other hand I think we had so many chances in the second half and we should have finished that off.

"That is what you have to pay for if you don't score but all-in-all, I think in particular (the) second half we did pretty well.

"We showed great commitment and I think it was a very positive performance from my point of view."

With Australia's big guns all in the starting line-up, the German coach also named Cornthwaite alongside captain Lucas Neill at the heart of defence, Michael Zullo at left back and James Holland in midfield.

Osieck singled out Holland for praise, indicating he was a likely starter against Oman, and was also pleased with Cornthwaite, who boosted his chances of replacing the suspended Neill in Sydney next month after his third goal in six games.

The German coach was also encouraged by lively attacking displays from in-form striker Robbie Kruse and Brett Holman, who has struggled for game time recently with Aston Villa.

Romania coach Victor Piturca restored most of his key players after they were rested in Saturday's 4-1 friendly loss to Poland.

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