Australia’s James Troisi said the Socceroos’ 2-2 draw with Germany showed just how far the Asian champions have come in 12 months.
Only a Lukas Podolski equaliser nine minutes from time in Kaiserslautern spared the world champions’ blushes on Wednesday night in Germany.
Australia had taken a 2-1 lead thanks to Troisi’s first-half header and a free-kick from captain Mile Jedinak which cancelled out Marco Reus’s early goal for Germany.
Having shocked Germany 2-1 in Moenchengladbach four years ago, an inexperienced Australian side came close to producing another upset as the hosts’ post-World Cup hangover continued.
With attacking talisman Tim Cahill out injured, Australia coach Ange Postecoglou blooded a three-man strike force of Mathew Leckie, Nathan Burns and Troisi which caused the Germans no end of problems
Australia were impressive in their first international since winning January’s Asian Cup in Sydney and Troisi said the fact they were disappointed not to beat the world champions showed that the Socceroos are on the rise.
“Few would have thought 12 months ago that we would nearly beat the world champions – I surely wouldn’t have – but it shows how far we have come as a team,” said the 26-year-old.
“I think Germany didn’t expect us to play like we played and to put them under so much pressure. They weren’t comfortable at all.
“We are pleased with our performance, but we missed some chances – we could have had three or four more.
“A draw is ok, but it’s great to see how well we play against the best.
“We really wanted to put on a good show for people back home who woke up early to watch us play.”
The Socceroos now face Macedonia on Monday in their last European friendly and captain Jedinak hopes their stunning display against the world champions will have won them a few more fans back home.
“I think this can take our belief to the next level. I think everybody, if they didn’t believe, now they will,” said the 30-year-old Crystal Palace midfielder.
“We can take a lot from this game. As long as we keep moving in the right direction, it’s looking pretty good.
“We had a game plan, we said we have to build on what we have so far with the Asian Cup victory.
“We knew it would be a great measuring stick – they are the world champs.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. But we were brave and we were probably a little unlucky not to win.” – Agence France-Presse