Australia coach Holger Osieck applauded Melbourne Victory young gun for his performance in the 6-0 Asian Cup semi-final win over Uzbekistan.
The 22-year old striker replaced Harry Kewell in the 53rd minute when the score was 2-0 and made an immediate impact, having a hand in the third goal scored by David Carney, setting up the fourth goal for Brett Emerton and then producing a classy backheel to Matt McKay who squared it up for Carl Valeri.
Kruse managed to get himself on the scoresheet thanks to some poor keeping by Uzbek gloveman Timur Juraev after missing some top chances prior.
Although Osieck was full of praise for Kruse, he said the youngster must continue to work hard to keep developing at the top level.
"I gave him an opportunity to play in the top position because he worked so hard in training," Osieck said.
"He took every session very seriously and I was impressed because he was doing a great job and was very committed and I thought it was time to give him an opportunity to show it.
"But you never know whether he is going to be able to transfer it in the big game. He's not a hero yet.
"He missed some chances, but he scored and laid off some chances for his team-mates. He has to learn, but we will continue working on him."