Clear standout inspires Roos to nervy Colombia draw
THAT was better.
Fresh off a 4-1 loss to Norway, the Socceroos showed more oomph, more appetite and more urgency on a night where they secured an admirable 0-0 draw against a Colombia side that turned it on in the second half.
After a forgettable first 45 where the game descended into a scrap, there were few chances created but also signs of Australia looking to play with speed and directness and a willingness to get stuck in against a technically superior side.
Come the second half, the South Americans raised their game and Australia couldn't keep up - with Miguel Borja spurning half a dozen good chances, including a penalty as the Socceroos clung on.
Here are the player ratings from Socceroos v Colombia…
BRAD JONES - 5.5
Opted to keep it simple for the most part with the ball - went long frequently, and put Milligan under pressure twice when playing short. There was also confusion with Milligan with an early ball into the box which saw Jones flap at a cross but for the most part he was untroubled in a scrappy half.
JOSH RISDON - 5
Looked a much more natural option at right back, taking up more advanced positions and looking to get beyond his man early and shaped to pass forward. But in doing so, he often turned over the ball and was guilty of diving into tackles as well as committing a foul throw which left even the referee confused.
As Colombia put pressure on in the second half, Risdon allowed multiple crosses in from their left.
MARK MILLIGAN - 5
Much improved from Norway struggles, but was far from comfortable in an unfavoured centre back position. There was confusion with Jones, which saw Milligan let his man get in behind him and attack the ball when he expected the keeper to come and claim.
Wasn't able to steady the ship when Colombia pushed forward and clicked through the gears and committed a foul on the edge of his box in a dangerous position.
MILOS DEGENEK - 5
Involved in a couple of tangles and still doesn't look like a convincing option as one of two centre backs, but still looked better than Saturday morning versus Norway. Questioned were asked of him as Miguel Borja had multiple chances, and he had no answer as the defence rocked.
AZIZ BEHICH - 5
Got caught out with balls in behind him, beaten around the outside and had an inquisition with Degenek about how to deal with the presence of Borja. It was a difficult second half where Colombia could and should have scored multiple times.
MILE JEDINAK - 5.5
Robbed in possession for Colombia's offside goal in the second half and wasn't able to influence the game anywhere near as much as his midfield partner but was active in a hectic centre of the park.
MASSIMO LUONGO - 7.5
Australia's best, dictating the frantic tempo with the ball and looking to pass forward and break lines.
Simply outstanding feet to open up a chance for himself to dance past four defenders in the box and get a shot away. Will have posed Van Marwijk some real questions about what his best midfield pair will be to play in behind Rogic come June.
"He's broken from holding midfield with real effect," said Fox Sports commentator Andy Harper.
Former Socceroo Robbie Slater added: "He was terrific on the ball, quick feet to eliminate players and a good performance from him."
MATHEW LECKIE - 5.5
Australia's play was heavily weighted down Leckie's side in the first half and he showed some neat touches under pressure but also at times got the ball stuck under his feet and turned it over. Went missing as Colombia grew into the match and wasn't able to create a chance for his team in the front third but worked hard to constantly harry off the ball.
TOM ROGIC - 6
In a game lacking in a discernible pattern, Rogic's technical ability in the middle of the park shone. When balls were fizzed into him under pressure, he made them stick. He also had to ride challenges and was the man who orchestrated the best attack of the match - passing into Juric who bounced it off to Nabbout for a shot.
Struggled to make an impact in the second half as Colombia gained control.
ANDREW NABBOUT - 6
Was virtually unsighted in the first half with the ball and spent most of the opening 15 minutes unsuccessfully competing for balls in the air. Wasn't able to find his feet in the first half despite making some encouraging runs to get in behind which showed promise but we had an instant flash of his potential with his 47th minute combination with Juric and left foot shot.
TOMI JURIC - 6.5
It is clear that Juric is the undisputed first pick as No.9 - offered a physical presence, looked to link up with midfield options and makes defenders uncomfortable.
Played off scraps for the first half but was bright with his combination with Luongo and Nabbout and also created the best chance of the half out of nothing with his left foot strike that flashed across goal.
Danny Vukovic - 5
Saw his goal peppered, and the offside flag kept his debut clean sheet intact for 45 minutes. He managed to make a solid stop to deny James Rodriguez's header and eased pressure by coming for crosses.
Committed the foul on Borja for the penalty but stepped up to make a massive save with just five minutes remaining.
Tim Cahill (on for Juric, 62') - Had five or six touches on the ball in half an hour and spent much of his time on the pitch working as the first man in defence. When he did have the ball played up to him, Cahill looked to link up with a teammate on one or two touches but didn't get close to the box.
Robbie Kruse (on for Nabbout, 73') - n/a
James Troisi (on for Rogic, 82') - n/a
Nikita Rukavystya (on for Leckie, 88') - n/a
Jackson Irvine (on for Luongo, 91') - n/a