'It’s time for me to kick on': Maclaren hungry for more after maiden Socceroos goal as front three dominate in Dubai
Good things come to those who wait is how the saying goes but Socceroos striker Jamie Maclaren says he won’t rest on his laurels after netting his first international goal during Australia’s 3-0 win over Palestine in Dubai.
The Socceroos’ AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019tm well and truly clicked into gear with a dominant victory over their Middle Eastern opponents but the story coming out of the game was Maclaren’s first strike in green and gold.
Speaking to socceroos.com.au after the match, the Hibernian striker revealed just how much his 18th minute header meant while also demanding further improvement.
“It’s hard to put into words, it’s been a long time coming for me,” Maclaren said.
“I’ve stuck on track and believed in myself and today was the one time to step up and thankfully it hit the back of the net.
“As a striker you want to hit the back of the net on most occasions and today was my day, I stepped up and scored the goal and now it’s time for me to really kick on.”
Not known for his aerial prowess, the former Perth Glory and Brisbane Roar man managed to get a head to Tom Rogic’s cross, cushioning the ball perfectly into the bottom left corner.
Mobbed by green and gold shirts shortly after, the 25-year old praised his teammates for their support.
“It happened quite quickly, Tommy got the ball and he’s a player who can put it anywhere so I just had to get in front of my man and I don’t score too many headers but it was nice to score one today,” he said.
“I think the boys know it’s been on my case for a few years now and for it to hit the back of the net the boys were around me and to have Jacko [Irvine] and Aziz celebrate with me straight away was nice and we just kicked on from there, Awer [Mabil] got one two minutes later.”
While Maclaren will be glad to get off the mark, that man Mabil cannot seem to stop scoring, his third Socceroos goal coming shortly after the opener and putting Graham Arnold’s men on track for a crucial victory.
Mabil latched onto a Chris Ikonomidis cross and simply had to thump the ball home to continue his fine form in green and gold.
The FC Midtjylland man took time to praise the connection the front three were forming in only their second game together.
“We talked about it before the game actually,” Mabil told socceroos.com.au of his relationship with Ikonomidis.
“I told him the same thing if I’m one on one make sure you get on that back post and the same for you so that cross from him I just had to finish it.
“Chris played really well today for us and you can see the connection between the three at the front and also the team behind us, everything just clicked today.”