Socceroos dream becomes reality for Behich


Melbourne Heart FC left-back Aziz Behich realised his childhood dream of representing his country last night.

Melbourne Heart FC left-back Aziz Behich realised his childhood dream of representing the Qantas Socceroos last night as the 21-year-old made his anticipated debut for the national team.

Behich pulled on the Green and Gold for the first time in the 59th minute of last night-s international friendly against South Korea in Hwaseong, with Behich enjoying a taste of his first victory after the Australians conjured a late 2-1 win.

“It feels unbelievable,” Behich said after the match.

“First one, it-s a good feeling and a good result so [I-m] very happy.”

Commencing the match in an experimental Socceroos squad on the sidelines, Behich was called into the action in the second period with the scores locked at 1-1.

The home side had established an early lead through Dong-Gook Lee in the 12th minute after the striker was left unmarked in the penalty area and he volleyed home the opener.

But the Socceroos hit back a minute before half-time as Tommy Oar found Nikita Rukavytsya and the Mainz 05 winger opened his national team account with a low left-footed shot that found the far corner.

Behich featured in the final half hour, injected in the 59th minute for Carl Valeri, who had been handed his 50th cap, and found his feet down the left hand flank as the Socceroos finished strongly.

Behich recounted the moment he was given the nod.

“[I was] just excited really; I just wanted to get out there and just play and enjoy it and I had that in my mind and it was pretty enjoyable,” Behich said.

Behich-s former teammate Eli Babalj was also introduced for a debut appearance and he nearly handed Australia the lead when he struck the upright.

The rebound, however, fell to Robbie Cornthwaite who tucked away the chance in a goalmouth scramble in the 88th minute to hand the Socceroos a late victory.

After his first taste of Socceroos action, Behich is eager for more involvement.

“Everyone is pretty happy, the way we went down 1-0 and then to fight back and get a result, I don-t think you can ask for much more,” Behich said.

“I haven-t been here for long it-s a short camp so I-ve enjoyed a couple of days that I-ve been here so obviously i’ll go back to club football and just try to improve and do well and I-d love to have another sniff again.”

Behich is scheduled to return to Australia for Melbourne Heart’s match against Adelaide United this Saturday.

Australia 2 (Nikita Rukavytsya 44m, Robert Cornthwaite 88m)
South Korea 1 (Dong-Gook Lee 12m) at Hwaseong Stadium.