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Socceroo Juric red-faced after blunder

AAP logoAAP 1/09/2016 Justin Chadwick

Socceroos striker Tomi Juric won't know whether to laugh or cry when he looks back on Thursday night's 2-0 win over Iraq in Perth.

On paper, it was a good night for Juric, who scored a goal and set up another in the World Cup qualifier win.

But it was far from smooth sailing, with Juric's embarrassing blunder early in the second half threatening to alter the course of the match.

With the scores locked at 0-0 and the tension building, Juric should have scored the easiest of goals when the ball rolled to him at the far post in the 57th minute.

But instead of tapping the ball into the open net with his left foot, Juric made a late decision to make contact with his right and shot wide

The former Western Sydney striker had also endured a tough first half, and he could have easily dropped his head and wallowed in self pity.

Instead, he went to work - and unleashed a perfectly-weighted ball across goal to tee up Massimo Luongo for the opener just a minute later.

Then just after the hour mark Juric had a goal of his own when he stabbed home from an Aaron Mooy set-piece.

Juric was happy he got the chance to make up for his earlier botched attempt on goal.

"I guess it surprised me. It caught me a little bit off guard," Juric said.

"But accidents happen. That's what I'm going to call it - an accident.

"I tried to stay strong in my mind to keep going and pushing. And then I got rewarded with an assist and a goal."

Socceroos veteran Tim Cahill was an unused substitute in the win.

But he's set to be deployed in next week's clash with the UAE in Abu Dhabi.

Cahill remains a key cog in the Socceroos set-up, but Juric said it was good the team now possessed enough firepower to win without him.

"We all know his qualities and what he brings to the team. He's an important figure for us still," Juric said.

"We always rely on big players like that.

"But we're showing now that we're slowly able to do that within the whole team.

"It's not just to lean on one or two players. We've got a lot of players who can come in and do the right job."

Juric said he was enjoying life in Switzerland after switching to FC Luzern in July.

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