Australia U-23 tick off ‘main objective’ with Bahrain draw – Najjarine
Australia U-23 attacker Ramy Najjarine says the squad are delighted with Wednesday morning’s 1-1 draw against Bahrain, as it secured their pathway to the Quarter Finals of the AFC U-23 Championship.
Najjarine scored the opening goal of the game just before the half hour mark when Reno Piscopo slipped him in behind Bahrain’s defence to tuck the ball into the back of the net.
Despite being pegged back by Bahrain before half time Australia held on to a 1-1 draw to ensure they finished on top of Group A.
The result takes the Green and Gold one step closer to qualifying for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which the top three teams from the AFC U-23 Championship in Thailand will all advance to.
Speaking post-match, Najjarine said he and his teammates were satisfied with getting part one of their job done.
“I think the boys are very happy,” Najjarine said.
“Our main objective was to top the group and we got that done.
“It was great build up play from us [for the goal], we stuck to our structure and game plan and I finished it off.”
The 1-1 draw with Bahrain meant Australia progressed out of the group stage undefeated, after winning one and drawing two of their three games against host national Thailand, Iraq and Bahrain.
They now head to the Quarter Finals where they wait to find their opponent for the first knockout round of the tournament.
Looking ahead to the second phase of the AFC U-23 Championship, Najjarine says Australia will benefit from a few days of rest before launching their assault for some silverware.
“I felt fine, honestly, it’s tough conditions here with the humidity and what not but I feel good,” Najjarine said.
“I think we have four days to recover, we need to tweak a few things and I think we’ll be very confident heading into the finals.”
Australia U-23 Men’s National Team – Upcoming Fixtures
Australia U-23 v Group B Runner Up TBC – AFC U-23 Championship Thailand 2020 Quarter Final
Date: Saturday, 18 January 2020
Venue: Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand
Kick-off: 8.15pm (local); 12.15pm +1 (AEDT)
Stream/Broadcast (Australia Only): Fox Sports, Kayo Sports, My Football Live YouTube Channel