The Qantas Young Socceroos have drawn 1-1 with Syria in their second match of the AFC U-19 Championship in the UAE on Tuesday night.
The Syrians were the first to apply the pressure and for the first 15 minutes the Qantas Young Socceroos had to defend well to avoid conceding early on in the piece.
From the quarter hour onwards, the Qantas Young Socceroos started to settle into the match and shared possession with Syrian for the remainder of the half.
The Qantas Young Socceroos best chance of first half came in the 35th minute when Terry Antonis played a great ball to Corey Gameiro, whose shot forced a top save out of the Syrian goalkeeper, Shaher Al Shakir.
The second half saw the Qantas Young Socceroos start the better of the two teams with the creation of a number of goal-scoring opportunities and a solid defensive effort.
Although midway through the second half it was Syria who broke the deadlock when Al Mawas received a long pass and then shot past Qantas Young Socceroos goal keeper Paul Izzo who was unable to save.
The Qantas Young Socceroos equalised in the 81st minute after Ryan Williams took on and beat three defenders down the right side of the field. Williams then worked his way into the box and cut the ball back to Gameiro, who finished past the keeper to the near post.
Gameiro had a chance to net the winner a minute later after Williams again played him into a goal scoring position but unfortunately Gameiro’s shot went wide.
After the match, Qantas Young Socceroos head coach Paul Okon was pleased with his team’s overall performance.
“We were a bit tentative in the first 10-15 minutes as we knew Syria would come out and attack early which they did. We dealt with it and at the same time we played some good football and started to dominate the game,” Okon said.
“In the second half we continued to put pressure on them and this was emphasised when we won the ball, we kept it, built up the play to go forward and then created a number of opportunities.
“We conceded a goal from our only mistake in 90 minutes but credit to the players they believed they could get back into the game and did so through a magnificent goal from Corey Gameiro after a great passage of play from Ryan Williams.
“After the game I emphasised to the players that this is just another step towards qualifying for the FIFA U-20 World Cup. The performance tonight was outstanding and we need to continue this in the next match against Saudi Arabia."
In the other Group D match, Saudi Arabia defeated Qatar 4-2.
The Qantas Young Socceroos final Group D match of the AFC U-19 Championship will be against Saudi Arabia on Thursday 8 November (kick-off 5:00pm local, 12:00am AEDT).
The top two teams from each group of the AFC U-19 Championship 2012 will progress to the knockout stage (quarter-finals) and the four winners of the quarter-finals will then play in the semi-finals with the winners advancing to the final.
The semi-finalists will also automatically qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup which will be held in Turkey in June/July 2013.
Syria 1 (Mahmoud ALMAWAS 74’)
Qantas Young Socceroos 1 (Corey Gameiro 81’)
Tuesday 6 November 2012
Fujairah Stadium, Al Fujairah City, United Arab Emirates
Referee: Ravshan IRMATOV (UZBEKISTAN)
Assistant Referees: Jakhongir SAIDOV (UZBEKISTAN) & Mohammad Hanif Bin ABDUL RAHMAN (MALAYSIA)
Fourth Official: Abdul Malik ABDUL BASHIR (SINGAPORE)
Syria line-up: 3.Mouaiad ALAJAAN , 5.Hamid MIDO (c) (20.Nassouh NAKKDAHLI 59’), 6.Amro JENIAT , 9.Samer SALEM , 10.Mahmoud ALMAWAS , 11.Adnan AL TAKI (15.Abdulmannan IBRAHIM 71’), 13.Omar KHARBIN, 14.Hussein ALJWAYED, 17.Muayad ALKHOULI, 18.Khaled ALMBAYED, 22.Shaher ALSHAKIR (gk).
Substitutes Not Used: 1.Abdul NASSAN (gk), 2.Malek ALKADI , 4.Omro AL MIDANI , 7.Amad ALKADDOUR, 8. Shih YOSEF , 12.Amer HAJ HASHIM, , 16.Abd AL ELAH HFEAN, 19.Ehab ALHESSNI , 21.Mahmood ALBAHER, 23.Ibrahim ALHAMWI (gk)
Yellow Cards: Mouaiad ALAJAAN 23’, Samer SALEM 61’, Nassouh NAKKDAHLI 90+3’
Qantas Young Socceroos line-up: 1.Paul IZZO (gk), 2. Joshua BRILLANTE 3.Connor CHAPMAN 4.Curtis GOOD (c) (22.David VRANKOVIC 46’), 6.Reece CAIRA 7.Corey GAMEIRO 8.Terry ANTONIS (11.Ryan EDWARDS 78’), 9. Adam TAGGART (10.Jamie MACLAREN 78’), 14.Ryan WILLIAMS 15.Jason GERIA 16.Jackson IRVINE
Substitutes Not Used: 5.Corey BROWN 12.Liam JACOB (gk) 13.Tom KING 17.Hayden MORTON 18.Jack DUNCAN (gk) 19.Benjamin GARUCCIO 20.MuSTAFA AMINI 21.Mitchell OXBORROW 23.Travis COOPER
Yellow Cards: Nil