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Daniel Arzani to rescue as Socceroos struggle to beat Hungary

9 June 2018 11:53 PM
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Budapest: The hype surrounding Daniel Arzani appears to have been justified. With his first touches of the ball after coming on as a substitute, the highly rated teenager scored his first international goal and played a pivotal role in Australia's second as the Socceroos sealed a shaky 2-1 win over Hungary. A solo run, a long-range strike and a hint of generous goalkeeper provided Arzani with his first goal for the Socceroos before the teenager laid the platform for the eventual winner in extra time.

The short cameo of the youngest player to enter the 2018 World Cup was the brightest note for Australia coach Bert van Marwijk from a friendly that was all to do with how Australia will play against France in their opening group match. If the match in Budapest was the final test, it suggests Arzani could have a big role to play in that match.

The Dutch coach was frustrated by a more sluggish and error-ridden performance from the Socceroos than their first warm-up game against Czech Republic a week ago. Much of that had to do with the tired signs from the starting side that was unchanged from their 4-0 win over the Czechs and were visibly fatigued after the gruelling camp in between.

"The first half was, in my opinion, a bad performance," van Marwijk said. “Maybe some journalists saw it that we worked very hard for the last three weeks and the last few days we are a little bit more relaxed but today I saw, already, maybe after half an hour that we were very tired."

They were lucky to avoid conceding when Hungarian striker Adam Szalai had an excellent scoring chance, though, for the most part, the hosts' chances came from Australia's lapses and errors. When Mark Milligan spilled the ball to Roland Varga deep inside his own half, he gave the Magyars a perfect chance to open the scoring. Varga then Szalai through on goal for what seemed a simple finish. He was denied that by a smart block from goalkeeper Mat Ryan, taking enough pace off the shot to allow Massimo Luongo to make a goal-line clearance.

Source: brisbanetimes.com.au

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