Aaron Mooy says he enjoys playing with Tom Rogic and hopes that the British-based pair can inspire the Socceroos to victory over Honduras in next month’s 2018 World Cup playoff.
The two attacking midfielders combined well in Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over Syria in the AFC playoff, proving a point to sceptics who say they can’t play effectively together.
Mooy started on the bench, but was thrust into the game in the 11th minute after Brad Smith broke down with a leg injury. It meant that he, Rogic and James Troisi all operated as playmakers behind two-goal hero Tim Cahill in a more advanced position.
“It was a strange thing, but it can happen. I did the shortest warm-up of all time and just got one with it and tried to get into the game,” Mooy told ESPN FC.
“It’s good to play with Tom. He’s a great player, a great talent. The better we can link up the more attacks the strikers should get, so it’s good that we’re doing that.”
Mooy will now turn his attentions to Saturday’s match in the Premier League, as Huddersfield Town travel away to face Swansea City.
The 27-year-old, who was Huddersfield’s 2016-17 player of the year, admits that the 120-minute struggle with Syria took a big physical toll after last Thursday’s first leg in Malaysia.
“[I’m not ready] right now, but we’ve still got a month away, ” Mooy said when asked about the inter-confederation playoff with the Hondurans on Nov. 6 (away) and Nov. 14 (home).
Aaron Mooy breaks down how he hoped to impact their match versus Syria and delves into his partnership with Tom Rogic.
Tim Cahill says he feels it’s his responsibility to produce on the big stage for Australia at any age.
“We’ll go back to our clubs, get on with our lives and work hard. It will come around quick, I’m sure.”
Mooy provided the square ball to Robbie Kruse whose first-time cross created Cahill’s winning goal in extra time against the Syrians for a 3-2 triumph on aggregate. He added that Cahill’s contribution at his age — he turns 38 in December — are “unbelievable”
“He’s obviously a legend for the Socceroos,” Mooy said.
“He comes up with these big moments when we need him and today was another one, it’s unbelievable.
Jason Dasey is ESPN FC Senior Editor in Singapore. Formerly Asian editor of FourFourTwo, he was also a CNN and BBC broadcaster. Twitter: @JasonDasey.