Australia bow out at the AFC U-19 Championships

The Qantas Young Socceroos have bowed out of the AFC U-19 Championship, after suffering a 3-0 defeat against United Arab Emirates at Prince Mohammed bin Fahad Stadium earlier this morning.

The Qantas Young Socceroos have bowed out of the AFC U-19 Championship, after suffering a 3-0 defeat against United Arab Emirates at Prince Mohammed bin Fahad Stadium earlier this morning.

Two early goals by Ahmed Khalil and Rashed Essa had Australia behind the eight-ball and the UAE wrapped up the comprehensive victory late in the match with a goal to Abdulaziz Hussain.

Ironically the UAE will now meet Uzbekistan in the final, the latter finishing second behind Australia in the group stages. They beat Korea Republic 1-0 in the other semi final.

UAE started strongly and almost went ahead after only two minutes when Mohamed Fawzi headed Ahmed Ali-s corner wide.

They took the lead two minutes later when Khalil played a one-two with Ahmed Ali before beating Australia goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne for the opening goal.

Redmayne was beaten again in the 12th minute when Theyab Awana made a good run down the right before feeding the ball to Rashed Essa who fired home a powerful shot.

Australia fought back hard late in the first half with Newcastle Jets striker Jason Naidovski going close twice. He should have pulled a goal back four minutes before the break when Oliver Bozanic played in him in, but he failed to make contact with the goal at his mercy.

A minute later when he fired a powerful shot against the left upright in what was Australia-s best chance of the first half.

Australia began strongly in the second half and went close again four minutes after the break when Bozanic-s corner from the right was headed wide by Ryan McGowan.

UAE nearly added a third in the 54th minute when Mohamed Fawzi broke clear down the left with only the goalkeeper to beat only to be denied by Redmayne.

With 10 minutes remaining, Australia were denied yet again when Naidovski saw his shot cleared off the goal line by Mohammed Fayez.

UAE then sealed the win five minutes from time when Hamdan Ismaeel-s powerful free-kick was saved by Redmayne but fell nicely for Abdulaziz Hussain to tuck the ball into the empty net.

Australia coach Jan Versleijen admitted that his side were beaten by a better team.

"UAE deserved to win tonight as they played a better game than us and they were sharper than us in the first 20 minutes," said Versleijen.

"They took a quick 2-0 lead and we couldn't get back into the game despite controlling the play.

"We couldn't perform at the level that we played at in the group stage and in the quarter-finals. We defended well in our previous matches but defending was not one of our strongest points today.

"When we were 2-0 down, we started to play better and we dominated the game and had half-chances to score. We were hoping that we could score a goal and go into the second half only one goal down.

"In the second half we kept the ball for a long time but we didn't have the power to finish the chances that we created," added Versleijen.

"To be honest, I was surprised with the way that we conceded the first two goals as we don't usually give away such goals," he concluded.

Versleijen though now has 11 months to work with the squad in prepartaion for the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2009 in Egypt, earned after reaching the semi finals.

Match Details

Australia 0 UAE 3

Australian line-up: Andrew Redmayne (gk); Sebastian Ryall, Luke DeVere, Mitch Nichols, Tahj Minniecon (James Brown 61'), James Holland, Jason Naidovski, Oliver Bozanic (Thomas Oar 68'), Sam Munro (Isaka Cernak 79'), Daniel Mullen, Ryan McGowan Subs Not Used: Ben Kanatarovski, Nick Tsattalios, Milos Lujic, Matthew Jurman, Pece Cvetanovski, Marko Jesic, Nathan Elasi, Michael McEntegart (gk), Daniel Ireland (gk)

Cautions: Bozanic (23'), Munro (44'), Oar (81'), McGowan (84'), Cernak (84') Exoulsions: Nil

Details courtesy of