Goals good but wins are better: Tomi Juric
Photo Source: AAP
Tomi Juric says he's delighted to be on the Socceroo scoresheet again but would trade personal glory for an easier World Cup qualifying path in a heartbeat.
The 26-year-old striker scored his fourth international goal - and his second in the space of a month - in the 2-2 draw against Saudi Arabia in Jeddah.
Tucking away a neat cross from Robbie Kruse, Juric's 71st minute strike put Australia in front for the first time and a third successive Group B win looked likely until Nasser Al Shamrani struck eight minutes later to equalise at the King Abdullah Sports City on Friday morning (AEDT).
"It's good for me, on a personal note, but I definitely would have preferred us to home on the plane with another three points and not sharing top spot with these guys," Juric said.
"We talk a lot about the positioning of the centre forwards so it's a tough role, just to try and cause a lot of trouble in the backline and the back two.
"A lot of times you want to come and join in the game but you have to play your part and do your job."
The result, which Juric said left the Socceroo dressing room bitterly disappointed, sets up a crunch clash with Japan at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.
Juric, who is emerging as a Socceroo regular and is every chance of retaining his spot, has never played against the Samurai Blue before but says he has a good idea of what to expect.
"They're probably amongst the best in Asia," he said.
"I know I've played in the Champions League against Japanese teams and they're always a problem to come up against.
"But we're at home now so I'm sure we're going to have a good home crowd behind us and we're going to try and use that as an advantage.
"This (win) would have helped us a lot but it's unfortunately not what we wanted it to be. We have to look forward now, we can't change the past."