Brave Qantas Joeys narrowly go down to Brazil

The Qantas Joeys have given one of the tournament favourites an almighty scare as they were edged out 0-1 by Brazil at Estadio Guadalajara in their second Group F match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011.

The Qantas Joeys have given one of the tournament favourites an almighty scare as they were edged out 0-1 by Brazil at Estadio Guadalajara in their second Group F match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011.

The Qantas Joeys more than held their own against the South Americans in what was a vast improvement on Tuesday-s performance against Côte d'Ivoire, in which they ironically won. This time was the opposite as the Qantas Joeys did enough to get something from the contest, but were left with nothing to show for it.

World Cup matches can often be decided by a single defining moment, and the one that decided this game, cruelly for the Joeys, came courtesy of an exceptional 76th minute free kick from Brazilian number 10 Adryan.

Despite the loss, Qantas Joeys Head Coach Jan Versleijen was significantly more satisfied than after his team-s first match, as they predominantly followed the game plan down to a tee to close down Brazil-s strengths and capitalise on their weaknesses.

All that was missing was a result that would have confirmed the Qantas Joeys in the next round, which will now depend on their final group match against Denmark on Sunday.

"I think we were well prepared, the way we like to play against Brazil,” Versleijen said.

“We knew also that we would be under pressure because they (Brazil) have players who are able to play combinations, beat people and their counter attack is very dangerous, so until the free kick in front of the goal I was very happy with the way we could deal with Brazil."

"Even in the first 20 minutes we had a few opportunities. In any game you will get opportunities and if you have a chance you have to take them."

"Of course I would be happy if it was nil-all as it would mean we already qualified for the next round, so now we have to try and do it in the next game. But I am happy with the way we played, I'm also happy with the way we executed the game plan and I'd like to congratulate Brazil because they have a really good team that is difficult to beat."

There was just one change to the Qantas Joeys- starting XI that defeated Côte d'Ivoire, Riley Woodcock replacing Jake Monaco at right back, while Teeboy Kamara was unavailable due to an ankle problem.

Brazil started brightly but the Qantas Joeys also had their moments in a tense opening 15 minutes, Connor Chapman with a nervous moment when Adryan went to ground from the Joeys captains- challenge in the penalty area, but the referee signalled play on.

A minute later Hernan Espindola had Australia-s first quality chance when a fine build up gave the Joeys numbers on the left, the Argentinean-born midfielder-s left footed effort just going wide.

The Qantas Joeys continued to ask questions of the Brazil defence as they utilised the space out wide and with Brazil-s intent to attack on the counter, it seemed only a matter of time that a goal would come either way.

In form striker Dylan Tombides tested Charles with a well hit strike in the 32nd minute which the Brazilian keeper managed to control, the Joeys unable to find a first half goal, but at the same time there was no damage done at the other end.

There was another stinging effort from Tombides that flashed over the crossbar and an on target shot from Espindola that went straight into the keepers arms within minutes of the resumption as the Qantas Joeys continued to press without a breakthrough.

Corey Brown then produced a goal saving block in a golden chance for Adryan, the Joeys- organisation and discipline continuing to frustrate the Brazilians.

Australian hearts were in mouths just after the hour mark when Paul Izzo failed to grasp a cross from the left and with an open net and just Tombides at his beckoning, Marlon Bica side footed his close range volley straight into the Qantas Joeys striker-s chest in what appeared a certainty to break the deadlock.

Versleijen made a double change in the 66th minute bringing Milos Degenek and Mitchell Oxborrow on for Yianni Perkatis and Espindola.

The deciding moment of the match then arrived in the 76th minute when Brazil won a free kick just outside the penalty area. From the dead ball Adryan sent a fizzing, curling shot into the top corner of the net, giving Izzo no chance and ending Australia-s stubborn resistance.

A Mitch Cooper volley from 23 metres almost gave the Qantas Joeys a deserved leveller and would have capped off a fine performance from the Gold Coast based winger, but it was not to be as the Aussies experienced the varying emotions of a World Cup within their opening two games.

In the other group F match, Côte d'Ivoire defeated Denmark 4-2 to move into second position and move the Qantas Joeys into third.

With three points already, progression to the knockout phase is still a possibility for the Qantas Joeys, and if they play similarly to how they played against Brazil when they tackle Denmark in Queretaro on Sunday, there is every chance of that happening.

The Qantas Joeys final group match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico is against Denmark on Sunday, 26 June. (9am AEST, Monday, 27 June)

Match Details:

FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011 - Group F Qantas Joeys 0 Brazil 1 (Adryan 76-) Thursday 23 June 2011, Estadio Guadalajara Referee: Stephan Studer (Switzerland) Assistant Referee: Sandro Pozzi & Raffael Zeder (Switzerland) Fourth Official: Diego Abal (Argentina)

Qantas Joeys starting-lineup: 1.Paul IZZO (gk), 3.Connor CHAPMAN (c), 4.Tom KING, 5.Corey BROWN, 6.Yianni PERKATIS (14.Milos DEGENEK 66-), 7.Hernan ESPINDOLA (19.Mitchell OXBORROW 66-), 8.Mitch COOPER, 9.Dylan TOMBIDES, 10.Jesse MAKAROUNAS (16.Stefan MAUK 83-), 17.Jacob MELLING, 21.Riley WOODCOCK

Substitutes not used: 2.Jake MONACO, 11.Luke REMINGTON, 12. Lachlan TIBBLES (gk), 13. Teeboy KAMARA, 15.Anthony PROIA, 18.Daniel SADAKA (gk), 20.Nicholas ANSELL

Yellow cards: Jacob MELLING 70-

Red cards: Nil

Brazil starting line-up: 1. Charles, 2. Wallace, 3. Marquinhos (c), 4. Matheus BARBOSA, 6. Emerson, 7. Guilherme (19. Nathan 60-), 8. Marlon BICA, 9. Ademilson (18. Wellington 89-), 10. Adryan, 11. Lucas PIAZON, 16. Hernani (5. Misael 60-)

Substitutes not used: 12. Uilson (gk), 13.Claudio WINCK, 14. Josue, 15. Jonathan, 17. Bruno SABIA, 20. Leo BONATINI, 21. Jacsson (gk)

Yellow cards: Lucas PIAZON 51-, Matheus BARBOSA 57-, Nathan 79-

Red cards: Nil