Caltex Socceroos skipper says late goal 'shows the character'
New Caltex Socceroos captain Mark Milligan said his side’s fighting spirit was perfectly displayed by Massimo Luongo’s late equaliser against Korea Republic.
Luongo struck in stoppage time, tapping in from close range to secure Australia a 1-1 draw at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday evening.
And while Milligan felt his side were not at their clinical best around goal, he was delighted with the message the last-gasp goal sent to fans.
“For the most part, we played some very, very good football,” he told www.socceroos.com.au.
“I can’t remember the last time we’ve created that much in a game against very good opposition.
“We’ve been working on a lot of our rotations and things like that and I think tonight we got them pretty much spot on.
“Obviously you can’t be creating that many opportunities and not scoring goals.
“I think, though, the late goal, it shows the character that this side has.
“I know, I’ve seen it, I’ve known it’s there for a long time. I think it’s good to show, even with the new coach and things like that, that that side of us is still very much there.”
Milligan said a mixture of that never-say-die attitude and the Caltex Socceroos’ new-look attacking style should really encourage Australian fans.
“I think you couple that [spirit] with the things that we’ve been working on, which we’ve still got some time to fine tune and I think we’ll be very dangerous at the Asian Cup,” he added.
The new boy
Milligan, who said captaining the side was a “huge honour”, also reserved special praise for the Caltex Socceroos’ newest player, Scottish-born forward Martin Boyle.
Milligan plays with Boyle at Scottish Premiership outfit Hibernian and was impressed with the way he handled his first appearance in green and gold.
“I think Martin’s a wonderful player and I think he did show his qualities when he came on,” he said.
“He loves getting at goal as we mentioned beforehand and he had a big hand in the equaliser in the end.
“Your debut is always a very nerve-wracking time and I think he came on and he did very well.
“I look forward to see what he does offer going forward.”