Socceroos boss Bert van Marwijk has praised his players for a positive performance despite falling 2-0 to Peru in their final FIFA World Cup™ game.
Goals from Andre Carrillo and Paolo Guerrero were the difference between the two sides, while Denmark and France played out a 0-0 draw in the other game, with the Socceroos creating a host of chances to score.
In the end, the Aussies couldn’t find the finishing touches, with Tom Rogic, Mathew Leckie, Trent Sainsbury, Aziz Behich and Tim Cahill all going close at various stages of the match.
“I thought today we played much better than our opponent and they shot two times on goal and were very lucky,” said van Marwijk immediately after the full-time whistle.
“We had so many chances but had a problem to score the goal. They did everything I asked, we played very good football but we couldn’t score … I was satisfied with the performance.”
The result saw the Socceroos fail to qualify for the Round of 16, having narrowly lost to France 2-1 and drawn 1-1 with Denmark in the other Group C matches.
But it was the Peru game where Australia created the most amount of chances of any game, controlling large periods of the match only to see their South American opponents score at crucial times of the match.
“I think we performed better than the opponent and we had a very good mentality – we kept playing until the final second,” added van Marwijk at his post-game press conference.
“Every time we could build up and found our free man in the midfield so that was the main reason we could control the game for big parts. If you played like that, then you have to score and that was our problem.”
The Dutchman, who ends his tenure with the Socceroos following the FIFA World Cup™ was also in a reflective mood post-game, explaining his biggest takeaway points after four months of working with the team.
“It’s not a success but not a failure because everyone saw how we performed and played and we got a lot of compliments,” van Marwijk said.
“But you don’t win game with compliments, only goals and with that we had a problem.”
He added: “I like the period I’ve worked with these guys and I learned from them, I learned also from their mentality and the way they improved.
“You don’t see this often on this level and I hope maybe they learned something in the past few months. For me, it’s a fantastic period and I won’t forget that.
“If you play as a team in an organisation, where everyone knows what to do and trust each other, and play in a way the players can do and feel supported [then you can do something]. I hope they learned something.
“The way we worked, we showed everyone that if you don’t have the best players in the world, still we can compete with France, Denmark and Peru.
“We played at the same level and even sometimes a bit higher which means you can reach a lot when you work very well. You also need individual qualities to decide games. We had to play in a way to score goals, but we didn’t find the solution to score with 11 players.”