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Tommy's Oar-some debut draws Kewell comparisons

4 March 2010 07:25

SYDNEY (AFP) - Coach Pim Verbeek has hosed down post-match hype that teenager Tommy Oar is the "next Harry Kewell" following his outstanding debut to help the Socceroos into the 2011 Asian Cup finals.

Australia clinched their place at next January's Qatar showpiece with a lacklustre 1-0 victory over Indonesia in Brisbane on Wednesday.

Japanese-based defender Mark Milligan's 42nd-minute goal proved the winner, but most of the headlines on Thursday were about the 18-year-old left-winger.

One of the youngest-ever Socceroos, the confident Oar grew into the role former Liverpool star Kewell usually commands on Australia's left flank and was his team's most dangerous player in the second half against the plucky Indonesians.

Some commentators have already dubbed Oar the "next Harry Kewell" after he tormented the Indonesian defence with sublime skill and precision crossing.

But Dutch coach Verbeek quickly attempted to keep a lid on the expectations surrounding the gifted Brisbane Roar flyer.

"I wish I could keep the pressure and everything down but I must be honest, I thought he played a fantastic game," Verbeek said after the match.

"I can say a few things about areas he can improve but I think he was fantastic.

"Let's try to keep it normal for the boy, he's just 18-years-old and don't mention him as the next Harry Kewell please."

This season's A-League young player of the year has been touted by some as a World Cup bolter, but Verbeek refused to be drawn on his chances of making the final 23-man squad for South Africa.

"Let the boy just develop, he's just 18-years-old," he said. "He had a great year and it will be very difficult to stay on the same level."

Oar, who is heading this month for trials with Dutch clubs in the Australian A-League off-season, is not allowing events to overtake him and is heeding Verbeek's advice.

"At the end of the day I've just played 20 A-League games and once for the Socceroos, so there's no need to get ahead of myself," Oar told reporters.

"Things can turn around really quickly so I've just got to keep working hard and make sure it doesn't stop."

Of his comparisons with Galatasaray's Kewell, Oar added: "I think that's pretty premature to be honest. I guess when he was my age he was playing against Manchester United, not Indonesia and that speaks for itself."

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Info

1 - 0

Competition
Asian Cup Qualification
Date
3 March 2010
Kick-off
10:00
Half-time
1 - 0
Full-time
1 - 0
Venue
Suncorp Stadium (Brisbane)
Attendance
20422

Goals

1 - 0

Lineups

Substitutes

Sunday 28 December

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