Australia coach hails 'outstanding' Tom Rogic as Celtic playmaker turns on the style

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Australia coach hails 'outstanding' Tom Rogic as Celtic playmaker turns on the style
Australia coach hails 'outstanding' Tom Rogic as Celtic playmaker turns on the style

TOM ROGIC has been hailed as ‘outstanding’ by Australia assistant coach Rene Meulensteen after the Celtic midfielder inspired the Socceroos to a crucial World Cup qualifying victory over Vietnam.

The 29-year-old scored in Thursday's 4-0 victory and also set up former Hibs striker Jamie MacLean to make the breakthrough.

The win in Melbourne leaves Australia just a point adrift of second place Japan and an automatic qualifying spot for Qatar.

Meulensteen said: “There were a lot of outstanding performances but Tommy was certainly one of them. A well deserved to be man of the match.

"He was an enormous driving force for us, he picked up the right positions for us to play through the lines and he's got that skill, ability and intelligence to find those clever passes to get in behind, to set it up.

"He really illustrated that, especially in the goal that he scored.

"It was an outstanding performance from him all around and that's what you want from players of that calibre. They are the difference makers for us and he certainly did that.”

Rogic, who has been rejuvenated under Parkhead boss Ange Postecoglou at club level, said: “We knew the significance of the game in terms of qualification.

"It was a good performance from the team in general. We maybe got a little bit sloppy in the second half but, overall, I think it's a good day's work and I was just happy to be back playing in Australia.

"It's probably been a couple of years since I've seen family and friends and there was a few in the crowd.

"We've got a bit of work to do in terms of qualification but we are on the right track now."

Australia are back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Oman for their third last game of the group.

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