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What we learned from Australia v Ecuador: Curtis looking Good, Chile scary

The young defender produced a performance which belied his tender years, but other South American opponents were flexing their muscles elsewhere in Europe

1. Curtis Good is a long-term solution at centre-back

Unable to break into Newcastle United's first team, we haven't seen a lot of the former Melbourne Heart player on Australian TV screens in the last couple of years, apart from a loan spell at Bradford City during their run to the 2012-13 League Cup final.

If you've got Setanta and no friends or hobbies, you can now see him playing regularly at Dundee United. Australia's coach has certainly been doing that, and may have even gone to see him in the flesh recently. We're not saying Ange doesn't have friends or hobbies, but watching the Scottish Premiership, be it on television or in person, is not one of the perks of the national team job.

Postecoglou was also impressed by Good during the AFC Under-22 Championship in January and on Thursday morning we saw why. Strong, technically solid and composed under pressure, the 20-year-old impressed greatly before being forced off through injury mid-way through the second half, sparing him some of the blame for Australia's capitulation.

Dominant debut | Good showed what he can do in his first outing

2. Brad Jones took his chance. Sort of.

Mat Ryan was so untroubled during the first 45 minutes that his stocks have neither risen nor fallen. It's harsh to mark down Langerak for one poorly timed challenge, but getting sent off and giving away a penalty certainly won't improve his standing. Jones, an outsider for a World Cup berth after minimal playing time at Liverpool, may have conceded three goals, but he also made several good saves and on another day might have earned the Socceroos an ill-deserved draw. Counting against him is the moment of panic when the shaky Alex Wilkinson gave him an unhelpful back pass and he was dispossessed trying to play around Enner Valencia, who should have scored.

3. The Socceroos were tricked by Ecuador's rope-a-dope

At half-time the prevailing emotion was surprise. Surprise at how cohesively and effectively Australia had played early into Postecoglou's new regime. But also surprise at how poor Ecuador were. Yes, the South American side don't always perform well away from home, and it was just a friendly on neutral territory. But you don't finish fourth in CONMEBOL qualifying ahead of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez's Uruguay unless you can play.

The next surprise was how comprehensively Reinaldo Rueda's team turned it around after the break. A few changes and some improvement was to be expected, but it was a totally different side that came out for the second half. It shouldn't excuse their inability to respond, but the Socceroos won't face such a stark contrast in performance levels from one half to another very often.

4. Errors aside, Australia now has fit-for-purpose fullbacks

During the worst days of Holger Osieck's tenure, players shoehorned into the wrong position was becoming a real problem. The low point was surely when centre-back Ryan McGowan and central midfielder Matt McKay were torn apart by Brazil at right and left-back respectively. Luke Wilkshire and David Carney were at least played in familiar positions when they came in against France the following month, but didn't fare any better.

In November Postecoglou picked Ivan Franjic and Jason Davidson in wide defensive positions and they acquitted themselves well. There were strong performances again from those two in the first half against Ecuador, before both were caught out at times in the nightmare second term. That is unlikely to count heavily against them, as they both supply the energy and attacking intent Postecoglou demands from his fullbacks. They are in pole position to start there at the World Cup.

5. Chile is not the 'easy' game. There is no easy game.

You won't have learned this from watching Australia v Ecuador, but if you had half an eye on Twitter during the game, any illusions which some people may be clinging to about Chile being an easier assignment than Spain or the Netherlands should now have vanished.

Jorge Sampaoli's side get overlooked when assessing Australia's chances because they're not as well known as the previous World Cup's two finalists. But they finished just two points behind Colombia and four back from Argentina in South American qualifying and boast outstanding players like Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal. They gave Germany all sorts of problems before losing their friendly 1-0 in Stuttgart on Wednesday night.

Postecoglou and any educated observer won't have made the mistake of thinking this is the game Australia can treat more lightly. Neither should you.

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