Socceroos Squander European Opportunity

An atrocious final ten minutes saw Romania sneak past the Socceroos in Spain.

Robert Whiteby Robert White

The Socceroos squandered a perfect opportunity to take a statement win over Romania in a friendly match in Europe on Thursday, losing a one-goal advantage over the final 20 minutes of the match.

The Australians looked as to be on route to an impressive victory after defender Robert Cornthwaite bagged his third goal in six international matches to put the visitors up 2-1 in the 54th minute, but a late game collapse cost the Socceroos dearly.

The Romanians fielded a full squad for the friendly against Australia, played in Malaga, Spain, after resting players and suffering a big 4-1 loss to Poland on Saturday.

The move paid off as Romania registered the opening goal in the 36th minute courtesy of Christian Tanase, who lost his opponent in Luke Wilkshire and smashed home a shot deflected by Aussie keeper Mark Schwarzer.

The much talked about Robbie Kruse, playing well for Fortuna Dusseldorf in the German Bundesliga, had an opportunity to provide an instant response, but his shot attempt sailed over the top bar.

Wilkshire equalised with a penalty on halftime before Robert Cornthwaite put the Socceroos in front to jab in a corner cross.

It was looking good for the touring Aussies, who went into the match ranked three spots below Romania on the FIFA rankings at world No.36, until Bogdan Stancu goaled in the 80th minute and Gabriel Torje converted a brilliant free kick three minutes later to claim the win.

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Photo credit: Getty Images.