Australia’s U-17 men’s national team rounded out their campaign at the UEFA-hosted youth tournament in Turkey at the weekend with a 2-2 draw against Guinea.
Guinea, who had performed strongly in their previous two matches to secure wins over Turkey and Tanzania, proved to be tough opponents for the Joeys in Antalya, with the sides heading to the sheds at half time locked at 0-0.
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Attacker Noah Botic showed sound composure early in the second half to put Australia ahead, however Guinea responded with two counter-attacking efforts to lead 2-1.
Late in the game, Jordan Courtney-Perkins found the back of the net following a neat passing sequence to round out the scoring.
“This match was an excellent way to conclude our involvement in the UEFA Assist Tournament in Turkey,” Joeys Head Coach Trevor Morgan said.
“Playing a second African team in three days was an opportunity to experience and learn from competitive match play against opponents about to go to FIFA U-17 World Cup qualification in a couple of weeks.
“Our focus in this match was to maintain control of the flow of the match against another team full of pace, power, and individual skill. Guinea were aggressive in their challenges and direct in their play.
“The boys did well in both halves to build attacks through controlled possession, and with some good movement and combination play we created some excellent chances. We were pleased that our goals came from controlled play – showing belief in what we are trying to do pays dividends.
“There were some excellent individual performances over the three matches and now our focus turns to monitoring players in club football over the next two-to-three months. Joeys staff will be looking for players who are consistently performing at a high level and working with clubs to ensure we are aware of others who may come into contention for our 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup squad,” he said.
FIFA is set to announce a new host and window for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup this week (March 15) after recently deciding to move the tournament from Peru to another nation to due organisational challenges.