Socceroos coach pleased with performance despite loss

ROMANIA left it late before beating the Socceroos 3-2 in a friendly in Malaga, Spain, yesterday.

Australia, ranked 36th and three places lower than Romania, led 2-1 with 10 minutes to go, but were unable to hold on as Bogdan Stancu scored and then a stunning late free-kick from midfielder Gabriel Torje secured the win.

Cristian Tanase had opened the scoring for Romania in the 35th minute, before Luke Wilkshire's penalty put the Socceroos back on level terms just before half-time.

Defender Robert Cornthwaite gave the Aussies the lead in the 54th minute, his third goal in six internationals, before the Romanian fight-back arrived.

Despite the loss, Socceroos coach Holger Osieck was pleased with the performance ahead of the crucial World Cup qualifier against Oman in Sydney on March 26, saying he didn't regret making changes to the line-up at half-time.

"When there is a couple of changes, there is always a change in the game," Osieck said.

"We showed great commitment and I think it was a very positive performance from my point of view."


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