Good start for Qantas Young Socceroos

The Qantas Young Socceroos are well placed after Day 1 of the International Cor Groenewegen Tournament, being played in the Netherlands.

The Qantas Young Socceroos are well placed after Day 1 of the International Cor Groenewegen Tournament, being played in the Netherlands.

In the second of two prestigious modified tournaments that are participating in on their 3-week European tour, the Under 20-s won two and lost one of the three games on day 1.

Like the Terborg Tournament a week ago, they lost their opening game, going down 1-0 to Dutch giant PSV Eindhoven. They recovered however by defeating Terborg winners Ajax Amsterdam 2-0 and then Scottish giant Celtic by the same scoreline.

In the first minute, Australia suffered a blow early in the game when Adelaide United defender Daniel Mullen was forced off the field.

PSV-s goal came in the 22nd minute, following a corner the ball was scrambled home by PSV.

The second match provided Australia with the chance to avenge its semi final loss to Ajax in Terborg.

Again it was a tight contest, but it was Australia that this time gained the upper hand after 24 minutes; with Tahj Minniecon doing well down the right and his cross was met perfectly by Nathan Elasi with a volley past the keeper.

The 2-0 win was sealed after 32 minute, Minniecon again the provider, when he went on a trademark run through the middle of the park, dinked a pass to Luke Brattan and he turned and fired past the Ajax keeper.

The third match was critical heading into the second day, a win putting near the head of the table.

After 17 minutes, a free kick by Oliver Bozanic to the back post was headed back into the middle by Mathew Jurman and was tucked home by Nathan Elasi.

The win was sealed in the 35th minute, when a terrific switch by Ryan McGowan to Hearts teammate Rocco Visconte, who sidestepped a defender as he went into the box and curled a magnificent cross to the far post where it found a hard running Isaka Cernak and he made no mistake with his shot.

That win left Australia in 2nd place on the group table behind PSV, with Australia set to play local Dutch sides FC Uitgeest in the early game and then Vitesse/AGOVV in the later game.

Two wins will guarantee them a place in the semi finals on Monday.

Coach Jan Versleijen was pleased with the player-s performances after another slow start.

“We had a difficult start against PSV today,” he said. “They were well organised and played good football; they have some good quality as they won all 3 games they played today.

“The players that have not had much game opportunity on the tour so far got to play more today and some of them impressed.

“But we now have to continue our performances to make the major finals on Monday.”

Match Details

Match 1

Australia 0 PSV Eindhoven 1

Australian line-up: Andrew Redmayne (gk); Daniel Mullen (Rhyan Grant 5-), Luke DeVere, Ryan McGowan, Mathew Jurman, James Holland, Oliver Bozanic, Mitch Nichols (Luke Brattan 30-), Kofi Danning (Nathan Elasi 30-), Rocco Visconte, Thomas Oar

Cautions: McGowan (26-)

Match 2

Australia 2 (Nathan Elasi 24-, Luke Brattan 32-) Ajax Amsterdam 0

Australian line-up: Mark Birighitt, Sam Munro, Rhyan Grant, Nathan Elasi, Matthew Jurman, Luke DeVere (Peter Cvetovski h/t), Ryan McGowan, Luke Brattan, Tahj Minniecon, Thomas Oar (Rocco Visconte 31-), James Holland

Match 3

Australian 2 (Nathan Elasi 17-/ Isaka Cernak 35-) Celtic 0

Australian line-up: Andrew Redmayne (gk); Ryan McGowan, Rhyan Grant, Sam Munro, Mathew Jurman, Peter Cvetanovski, Oliver Bozanic, Nathan Elasi, Isaka Cernak (Kofi Danning 36-), Robert Stambolziev (Rocco Visconte 30-), Luke Brattan

Cautions: Cvetanovski (3-)