Thompson loving being super-sub
Super-sub Archie Thompson is fast becoming Australia's best route to goal.
The veteran Melbourne Victory marksman netted for a third straight international in the national team's morale-boosting 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Iraq in Doha.
His past three goals have come from just a combined 70 minutes on the pitch, with the A-League player proving lethal against tiring opponents.
This time Thompson, who turns 34 next week, had Tommy Oar to thank for his goal with the young left-footer producing the sort of cross that strikers dream about.
"I had a joke with the lads the day before saying I feel good, I'm going to score a goal," Thompson said.
"I've scored in the last two matches before this one.
"I felt pretty good and it was also the service of Tommy.
"That was a beautiful ball, it just sat up and it was like The Matrix, that's how long I had to settle myself."
Just to make it that bit sweeter, former Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek was in the crowd at Grand Hamad Stadium.
Thompson fell out of favour under the Dutchman's regime before winning over current coach Holger Osieck with his work ethic at a training camp in London in May.
Thompson said scoring the winning goal in Qatar would make the long flight home more enjoyable before the Victory host Adelaide United on Friday.
It's more than a decade since Thompson played the first of his 41 internationals and he's relishing his time back in the national camp.
"I know the role that I have to play in this team and whether it be starting or on the bench, I don't care," he said.
"I'm just enjoying my time with the team and I'm reaping the rewards at the moment.
"To get the winner tonight - it will be pretty hard to wipe the smile off my face for a long time to come."