Massimo Luongo (left) is hoping for a fast start against Saudi Arabia.
Massimo Luongo (left) is hoping for a fast start against Saudi Arabia. ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

Early goal the plan for Socceroos in World Cup clash

SOCCEROOS' hard-working midfielder Massimo Luongo has come up with a game plan that will keep the game 'Australian' at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night.

There is nothing which irritates the nation's sports lovers' more than diving, simulation and time-wasting tactics and the Queens Park Rangers key midfielder says the Socceroos have the answer to halt that type of petulance.    

But with the Socceroos' FIFA World Cup qualifying opponent Saudi Arabia not needing to win - a draw will keep Australia at three-points distance in the direct route towards the Russian tournament - Luongo believes the away side will try to deploy nerve-jangling gamesmanship

"A draw might be good enough (for Saudi Arabia) but if we get a goal or when we get a goal it's just going to unlock them and they will need to come out and get another goal," Luongo said yesterday in Adelaide.

"It's just going to unlock them and they'll need to come out and play.

"I think that will benefit us even more and we practice against teams sitting off and try and cause us not to score or try to disrupt us and we've done this pretty well so far.

"A goal early would ruin their game plan.    

"To be fair in previous games the refs and that have been quite good at handling all that.

"Sometimes they go the other way where they might miss things, but they're quite good at keeping the game flowing and probably not calling as many fouls and as many little things to disrupt the game.

"But yeah we're going to get all that (gamesmanship) and they're going to try and interrupt our momentum and flow and stuff."

But Luongo was impressed with the Adelaide Oval pitch after testing its resilience briefly on Saturday in the Socceroos first session under boss Ange Postecoglou in Adelaide before the qualifier.

With the Socceroos having exclusive training rights to the venue for five days Luongo believes that will be another great advantage against the Saudis who have been training nightly at Hindmarsh Stadium since landing in Adelaide late on Thursday night.

"The pitch is good and better than what we have had (in the past),'" he said.

"I wouldn't complain about that."  

But he described QPR's season in the English championship as a rollercoaster with the club needing a point in its last eight games to stave off relegation.

"We left it until the second to last game (to earn the point)," he said.

"I think we were always going to stay up and we were always going to be comfortable but I think we took the foot off the gas a little bit.

"I think it was a building season again and a bit of a transition stage as well.

"I have had a few of them since I have been there but I think under a good preseason if we stick to what we have at the moment then we could be right again.

"I played almost every game (35 matches)         

"I think I done all right."