Australia tops group at Hong Kong 7's
The next group of the Qantas Young Socceroos (1991’s) has topped its group in the IP Global International 7’s in Hong Kong, with victories in all three matches played today.
The next group of the Qantas Young Socceroos (1991-s) has topped its group in the IP Global International 7-s in Hong Kong, with victories in all three matches played today.
The team will go through to the major finals tomorrow, meeting Tuen Mun Progoal in the semi finals who finished 2nd in their group behind Scottis giant Glasgow Rangers.
Australia recorded victories over Sheffield United, Hong Kong Football Club Captain-s Select and the West Ham United in the three group games played in the modified 7-s format tournament.
In the first match against Sheffield, Australia scored after just 2 minutes, when Daniel Bowles played in Kliment Taseski behind the Sheffield defence. Taseski beat one defender and crossed to far post where it was met by Thomas Taylor who made no mistake with his shot.
After scoring this goal the boys held onto possession for a majority of the game and conserved energy for the 2 matches remaining in the day; the match finishing 1-0.
The second match saw Australia take on the local host of the tournament the Hong Kong FC. Goals from Dimitrios Petratos and Steven Lustica secured a 2-0 win.
In the 5th minute, Petratos did well to beat his marker at the top of the D and fired home a superb shot from long range to give Australia the lead.
The second goal came five minutes later when Thomas Taylor was played in behind the defence by Mitchell Bevan. His first time was blocked by the keeper, but the rebound fell to Steven Lustica and shot home into an open goal.
The third and final group match was always going to be the toughest against English Premier League side West Ham United. So it proved, but Australia managed to prevail 1-0 and significantly keep its third clean sheet in a row.
West Ham had the first opening following a free kick just outside the top of the box, which resulted in a yellow card to Bowles. However Australia managed to keep the ball out.
Three minutes later Petratos played Lustica down the left hand wing on a counter attack; the Gold Coast United player dribbled into the box and squared it to Taseski. Taseski-s shot was parried by the West Ham Keeper, but at the second attempt Taseski made no mistake with a precision shot into the bottom left hand corner.
Excellent defending by Australia kept a fast finishing West Ham at bay and that goal proved enough to give Australia a 1-0 win; a perfect record and guaranteed top spot of the group table.
Coach of the squad, former Qantas Socceroo captain Paul Okon said, "It was a great effort by all the players today in difficult conditions. We have qualified first in our group and have achieved what we wanted and we look forward to progressing further into the tournament tomorrow."
Day 1 Details
Match 1 v Sheffield United
Australia 1 (Thomas Taylor 2-) Sheffield United 0
Australian starting VII: Lawrence Thomas, Jason Davidson, Daniel Bowles, Kliment Taseski (Kevin Oliveria 11-), Steven Lustica, Dimitrios Petratos (Mitchell Bevan 10-), Thomas Taylor (Anthony Carioti 12-)
Match 2 v Hong Kong Football Club Captain's Select
Australia 2 (Dimitrios Petratos 5-, Steven Lustica 10-) Hong Kong FC Select 0
Australian starting VII: Lawrence Thomas, Jason Davidson, Daniel Bowles, Mitchell Bevan (Anthony Carioti 12-), Kevin Oliveria, Steven Lustica (Kliment Taseski 10-), Dimitrios Petratos (Thomas Taylor 9-)
Match 3: v West Ham United
Australia 1 (Kliment Taseski 9-)
Australian starting VII: Lawrence Thomas, Jason Davidson, Daniel Bowles, Kliment Taseski Kevin Oliveria, Steven Lustica, Dimitrios Petratos (Thomas Taylor 10-)