Tom Rogic’s Australia have clinched their place in the Asia Cup quarter-finals in dramatic fashion.
The Aussies took a penalty shootout win against Uzbekistan this afternoon. That came after the 90 minutes itself ended in a dire 0-0 draw. But there’s one big catch for Rogic himself.
The Celtic midfielder had a big influence on the game today, but he won’t in the quarters. That’s because he’s suspended for the clash against either UAE or Kyrgyz Republic due to picking up too many bookings.
He was hooked today in the final 10 minutes, but he was by far Australia’s best player. God knows why they constantly moan about him. He was purposeful this afternoon, and came close to scoring on a couple of occasions.
The sad truth is, however, that Rogic deserves better teammates alongside him at this level than the Aussies can give him. Rogic is the kind of player who needs quick-thinking footballers around him. With Australia he doesn’t have that, and today’s win was hardly impressive either.
Another extension of time without Rogic
Once again, it does provide Celtic with that mini-blow. The Hoops are now without their star-man until at least January 26th – the day after Australia’s quarter-final match. That means he’ll miss the home match against Hamilton at the weekend at least.
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Fortunately, the Hoops have a relatively healthy schedule between now and the end of the Asia Cup. Celtic play St Johnstone on two occasions and Hamilton before the end of the tournament. A return against Hibernian on February 6th could be on the cards for the Wizard of Oz.
In the mean-time, things are ticking over nicely at Celtic. They have plenty of options in the midfield, and Ryan Christie will be enjoying his chance to impress in his natural number 10 role.
Another congrats to Australia for progressing once again, even if it was hardly spectacular on the eye.