Australian coach Holger Osieck believes he has a new talent in young striker Robbie Kruse, but has warned he still has work to do.
The 22-year-old was called up to the AFC Asian Cup squad on the back of a season in which he bagged ten goals in 15 games for Melbourne Victory, after first-choice Josh Kennedy was forced to pull out injured.
Kruse has been keeping his head down in training, waiting for his chance, and it came against Uzbekistan in their semi-final on Tuesday, when he came on for Harry Kewell with almost 40 minutes to play.
He made the most of his opportunity, playing a hand in two goals and scoring one for himself, his first at international level. "I gave him an opportunity to play in the top position because he worked so hard in training," Osieck said after the 6-0 thrashing.
"He took every session very seriously and I was impressed because he was doing a great job and was very committed and I thought it was time to give him an opportunity to show it.
"But you never know whether he is going to be able to transfer it in the big game. He's not a hero yet. He missed some chances, but he scored and laid off some chances for his team-mates. He has to learn, but we will continue working on him."
Kruse is one of only four players in the Socceroos squad not based overseas. They others are Matt McKay, Jason Culina, and Jade North.
"I wasn't expecting to go on, let alone that early, so it was great for Holger to give me the opportunity and hopefully I've repaid him," Kruse told reporters.