Subway Olyroos qualify for AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024 with 1-1 draw

The Subway Olyroos have qualified for the AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024 after topping Group I on goal difference courtesy of a 1-1 draw with Tajikistan on Wednesday morning AEST.

Cameron Peupion's sensational 12th minute free-kick opened the scoring but it would be cancelled out just prior to the half hour mark as it finished honours even.

Australia only needed just a point to secure top spot and automatically qualify thanks to their 7-1 win over Laos, while Tajikistan could only manage a 2-1 victory.

Australia were slow out of the blocks and conceded a couple of half chances to the home side. 

However, Peupion silenced the partisan crowd when he sent a curling free-kick from the apex of the 18-yard box into far top corner and leaving the Tajikistan goalkeeper stranded.


But parity would be restored on 28 minutes when a needless turnover in midfield was immediately punished by the hosts as Rustam Soirov was expertly released in behind and unleashed an emphatic finish beyond Nicholas Bilokapic, sending the home supporters into a frenzy.

While Tony Vidmar's side enjoyed relatively long spells of possession they were unable to consistently convert their dominance into opportunities further up the field as Tajikistan threatened in transition.

The Aussies could not capitalise on a 5 verse 3 counter-attack to close out the first half and headed back to the drawing board at half time.

It was a tense battle for much of the second half too with chances arriving few and far between. Nishan Velupillay saw an attempt parried by the goalkeeper in his last involvement of the match after being slipped through by Louis D'Arrigo.

Vidmar again turned to his bench with the introduction of Lachlan Brook and Marlee Francois at the expense of Peupion and Velupillay, however despite all of Australia's possession they could not find a winner in a rather lacklustre affair.

Group I Olyroos


Match Details:
Australia U23 1 (Peupion 12')
Tajikistan U23 1 (Soirov 28')
Date: Tuesday, 12 September 2023 (Local), Wednesday, 13 September (AEST)
Venue: Republican Central Stadium, Dushanbe, Tajikistan
AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024 Qualifiers – Group I

Australia U23 XI: 1.Nicholas BILOKAPIC (GK), 2.Callum TALBOT (C), 3.Hosine BILITY, 5.Lucas MAURAGIS, 6.Ryan TEAGUE, 8.Patrick YAZBEK, 10.Jake HOLLMAN (21.Louis D’ARRIGO 56'), 14.Nectarios TRIANTIS (4. Jordan COURTNEY-PERKINS 56'), 17.Cameron PEUPION (7.Lachlan BROOK 74'), 19.Noah BOTIC (9.Alou KUOL 90+2'), 23.Nishan VELUPILLAY (22.Marlee FRANCOIS 74')

Substitutes not used: 11.Jahce NOVELLO, 12.Cameron COOK (GK) 13.Matthew DENCH, 15.Kai TREWIN, 16.Chris DONNELL, 18.Ethan COX (GK), 20.Joshua RAWLINS

Yellow Cards: 17.Cameron PEUPION 23', 14.Nectarios TRIANTIS 32'