The Young Socceroos have missed out on reaching the knock-out phase of the AFC U-19 Championship on goal difference after a stalemate against Tajikistan overnight.
Australia’s U-20 side knew only a win from their final Group D match would suffice in Bahrain, in order to join Uzbekistan in the quarter-finals but were unable to find a decisive goal.
They certainly had their chances against a resolute defence, with the Aussies awarded a penalty in the fifth minute for handball in the box.
Despite Anthony Kalik driving his effort into the bottom left corner, the goalkeeper guessed the right way and was able to make an excellent diving save.
It was one-way traffic as the half progressed, with Jake Brimmer forcing the keeper to tip the ball over the bar with a curling long range effort.
Australia thought they had the goal they craved just after the interval when Lachlan Scott was able to bundle the ball into the back of the net but he was controversially ruled offside.
Substitute George Blackwood carved out an opening when he was able to beat the offside trap but unfortunately he sent his shot across the face of goal.
The 2010 runners-up were denied again when a fierce shot from Kalik was followed up by Joseph Champness but the keeper was again able to make a fingertip save.
The task became more difficult when Kalik was shown a red card for a second bookable offence and while the Aussies continued to toil with 10-men they were unable to break the deadlock.
The result meant that Tajikistan progressed at Australia’s expense, with the prize of a place at next year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup in Korea Republic also alluding Ufuk Talay’s side.
"It was a one-sided game. We had a penalty in the fifth minute and if we had scored, the whole game would have changed,” said assistant coach Mark Rudan post-match.
“We created enough opportunities to win two or three games today and we just didn't finish them off. That's what's disappointing.
"Otherwise we executed the gameplan. I feel for the players in the dressing room because they deserved to go to the next round and hopefully it's a learning curve for the players."
Aussies Abroad: Sainsbury denies former club Inter in first UEFA Champions League start
Two Caltex Socceroos defenders were involved in key UEFA Champions League matches on Wednesday morning (AEDT). Milos Degenek’s Red Star Belgrade took on the might of Paris Saint Germain, featuring Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, while Trent Sainsbury went to former club Inter Milan
Aussies Abroad: Nabbout, Urawa Red Diamonds win Emperors Cup final
Andrew Nabbout emerged an Emperors Cup Final winner with Urawa Red Diamonds after the J-League outfit defeated Vegalta Sendai 1-0 yesterday evening. Nabbout was an unused substitute as the Reds clinched the trophy thanks to an early strike from Tomoya Ugajin. It is Urawa’s
'Amazing reward': Cahill to feature in FIFA World Football Museum
A pair of Tim Cahill’s boots will join items like the FIFA World Cup trophy, match balls from some of football’s biggest occasions and rare match-worn shirts in FIFA’s World Football Museum in Switzerland. The Caltex Socceroos legend revealed on Instagram on Sunday morning (AE
Boyle given 'all clear' following 'nasty collision'
Caltex Socceroos attacker Martin Boyle has been given the “all clear” following a head knock in Hibernian’s Scottish Premiership win at Hamilton Academical on Sunday morning (AEDT). Boyle needed lengthy treatment before half time after clashing with Hamilton’s Gary Woods and s