Australia’s Joeys have fallen just short against the USA at the Nike International friendlies tournament, going down 2-1 in Florida on Monday (AEDT).
Despite taking an early lead through skipper Joe Caletti, the Joeys were eventually over-run by the host-nation with goals from McKinze Gaines and Luca de la Torre in either half ensured the result.
While they will be disappointed with the loss, it was a much improved performance by the Aussie youngsters from their 4-0 defeat to Brazil in the tournament opener two days earlier.
It was all the Joeys early, with Tony Vidmar’s side making the perfect start inside the first three minutes.
The USA failed to clear the danger with the loose ball falling to Caletti on the edge of the box, his bullet-shot nestling in the bottom corner of the net.
Buoyed by the early goal the Joeys continued to create opportunities early on and only a couple of great saves from US ‘keeper Will Pulisic stopped them from doubling the lead.
But it was home side that took their chance on 15 minutes, Pierre Da Silva got in behind the Joeys defence with a great run down the left before squaring to Gaines to tap in.
It was a fairly even contest from that point on until the hosts took the lead midway through the second half after a long-range strike from de la Torre finished in the top corner of the net.
The USA finished the stronger and could have increased their lead with Daniel Barbir hitting the woodwork on two occasions while Joeys ‘keeper Brandon Osipov pulled off a couple of impressive saves.
The Joeys end the four nation tournament with their final match against England on Wednesday morning (AEDT).