Luongo, Good pleased with Socceroos debuts


Australian debutants Massimo Luongo and Curtis Good were left with mixed emotions as they reflected on their Socceroos debuts.

While 20-year-old defender Good couldn't hide his anguish at seeing Australia's three goal lead vaporised in the second-half by Ecuador's comeback at the Den, late substitute Luongo, 21, was more upbeat than downcast.

Swindon midfielder Luongo said after his 15-minute cameo as a replacement for skipper Mile Jedinak: "That game just sums up football. It was end to end in the second-half and having Mitch Langerak sent off was the key moment of the game.

"But I couldn't be happier at making my debut and the lads did great overall. It was hard being down to ten men for over half an hour and you have to applaud the lads.

"After Mitch was sent off I wasn't sure whether the boss (Ange Postecoglou) would change his mind about sending me on, but fortunately he didn't.

"I wasn't nervous at all, I just wanted to do my best and I was happy with what I was able to show.

"I felt comfortable out there and the boys helped a lot. There was no pressure and they were all encouraging."

The classy and combative Good, who was replaced 23 minutes from time as a hip flexor injury began to bite, looked the part alongside Matthew Spiranovic at the heart of Australia's defence.

But he found the second half capitulation - compounded by Langerak's dismissal - harder to take.

"We were brilliant first-half, all over the pitch, but in the second-half we conceded those two quick goals and with then sending off it was tough for us," he said.

"On personal level, it was great to get to get my debut out of the way - and I felt really comfortable out there.

"It was unfortunate for me to pick up the injury (which could sideline the Dundee United centre back for two weeks) but hopefully that won't be too much of a setback.

"I was nervous in the build up to the game. Football is all about confidence and that grew with every minute I was out there.

"It was a compliment to me that Ange put his faith in me, especially as a younger player. It makes you believe in yourself that much more.

"But while we can take out the positives, at 3-0 up you don't lose football matches - that was what hurt but when it's ten men against eleven it's always really difficult."

Luongo is taking nothing for granted over his prospects of being part of Postecoglou's World Cup plans.

"I feel confident about being a part of the squad now but whether that means the World Cup is up to Ange," he added. "I was just happy to get on and get my debut and start things off.

"Obviously we made mistakes at times in the second-half but you have these games to get those mistakes out of the system and to try different things. Everybody makes mistakes and the boys did brilliantly overall.

"Of course the result hurts but Ecuador tuned it on in the second-half."

Postecoglou was pleased with the duo, saying: "Massimo was good. We're exposing a 21-year old to seasoned internationals.

"At a difficult time in the game he came on and looked comfortable. He wanted to be out there. That's good for us. We now need to feed him more opportunities and we've got to give these guys opportunities.

"We won't develop the footballers we want if we don't give them opportunities, and when you do, sometimes like today in the second-half you pay a price.

"Youngsters will sometimes make decisions that are a little naïve. But I think they'll learn from that. I thought Massimo and Curtis were good.

"He's one of the ones we wanted to expose at the highest level and he was fantastic. He's only 20 years old, he's only played a handful of senior games let alone internationals but you can't tell me he's not going to learn by playing against the likes of the players who played tonight.

"For the most part he was what I expected, he was composed, and he made good clear decisions. He's going to better for it."

Source: SBS