Aaron Mooy made the perfect start to his international career this month with two goals in two matches for Australia at the East Asian Cup qualifiers in Hong Kong.
Coach Holger Osieck included Mooy in an experimental 20-man squad to face North Korea, Guam, Chinese Taipei and hosts Hong Kong in a round-robin tournament.
Mooy was overlooked for Australia’s opening games with Hong Kong (1-0 win) and North Korea (1-1 draw) but started and scored in Australia’s 9-0 rout against Guam.
The 22-year-old from Blacktown opened the scoring for the Socceroos in the 12th minute when his 30metre free kick hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced over the line.
He was rewarded for his strong performance and started the following game against Chinese Taipei where he scored another long-range free kick.
Mooy’s club coach Tony Popovic said he was glad to see one of his star performers get a taste of international football.
‘‘As a club we’re very proud to see him get his first Socceroos cap and score two goals,’’ Popovic said.
‘‘We’ll sit down and have a chat this week but he now knows the hard work required to keep playing at that level.’’
Surprisingly Mooy is still waiting to open his goal-scoring tally for the Wanderers this season after coming close in a number of games.
The irony wasn’t lost on Popovic who said Mooy’s been unlucky not to score this season with the second most shots at goal in the league.
‘‘[Although he hasn’t scored yet] we’ve been very happy with his form and his free kicks with the national team show the quality he has.’’