Shocked Kruse feared the worst after horror tackle

Australia striker Robbie Kruse revealed he feared the worst after an X-rated tackle nearly ruined his glorious performance for Australia in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Jordan.

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Robbie Kruse rolls on the ground in distress Source: Getty Images

The Socceroos crushed the hapless Jordanians 5-1 in Sydney to storm into the final phase of qualifying for a spot in the finals in Russia.

Kruse, who plays his club football for Bayer Leverkusen in Germany, was at his devastating best in the first half and provided three assists for Tim Cahill (two) and Aaron Mooy.

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Shocking tackle on Kruse"I was panicking a lot. My heart stopped a little bit and I was almost crying, just thinking of the worst." Caltex Socceroos winger Robbie Kruse after this tackle from Yusef Al Rawashdeh - should the Jordanian have been sent-off? Posted by SBS The World Game on Tuesday, 29 March 2016


But his night nearly came to a horrific end when Jordan substitute Yousef al Rawashdeh lunged at the attacker with a violent tackle from behind just after the hour mark.



Kruse, who has played very little football since suffering an achilles injury in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup final against Korea Republic 14 months ago, rolled in agony and clutched his left leg in clear distress as the 25,000 gallery held its collective breath.

But Kruse was able to walk away gingerly before he was replaced five minutes later to a standing ovation.

"It was not so much anger but deep shock," Kruse said later as he hobbled towards the waiting media.

"I was panicking a lot. My heart stopped a little bit and I was almost crying, just thinking of the worst.

"It was a similar feeling to what I felt at the Asian Cup.

"A lot of things were going through my head and I was glad to be told that I was okay and I went back on and did a few more sprints.

"I think it's okay. The doctor said there is no damage so I hope I wake up okay tomorrow, fingers crossed."



Kruse, who missed the 2014 World Cup due to a knee reconstruction, must have felt like a million dollars after bringing the house down with one of his finest performances in the green and gold.

"After what I've been through the last two years the first-half performance felt really good," he said.

"It has been a difficult time for me. Mentally it is quite tough to sit back and watch other people play in your position even though you wish them all the best.

"Unless you've been through it it is quite difficult to explain what you have to go through.

"When you see the boys all together and you are stuck doing rehab sessions on your own is not the best feeling.

"But at the end it is worth it when you get to put on the national jersey."

Kruse arrived late in camp and was forced to miss the previous qualifying match against Tajikistan in Adelaide.

But he was given a start against Jordan and he did not disappoint Postecoglou.

He played like a man on a mission and the Jordanians could not cope with his speed and movement across the front line.
He made his mark on the game when he laid on a low cross for Cahill who had the easiest of jobs to tap the ball in from two metres out.

Fifteen minutes later he burst through the middle and played a pass into space for Mooy who took a couple of touches before slotting the ball home.

He competed his masterful 'assist hat-trick' on the stroke of halftime when he picked out Cahill with an exquisite cross and the central striker did the rest with a neat header.

"Personally I am really happy with how I went," Kruse said.

"It was important for me to put in a good performance and show that I can still play at this level and better and that there is plenty of football left in me.

"Some people doubted if I could come back to the Socceroos again. I think I proved a lot of people wrong tonight."

Postecoglou expressed delight at Kruse's stellar show.

"I think we probably owe Krusey a little bit," the coach said.

"His story about what he did for us at the Asian Cup got lost amid the euphoria.

"I wanted him to get some reward for that and tonight was a good night for that. I thought he was outstanding." 


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4 min read
Published 30 March 2016 at 5:20am
By Philip Micallef
Source: SBS