The Joeys have rounded out their preparations for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile with a 1-1 draw against Costa Rica on Monday morning (AEDT).
Tony Vidmar’s side overcame conceding an early goal to fight back after the break to draw 1-1 in their final pre-tournament clash in Rancagua.
Costa Rica made a fast-start and edged in front on 16 minutes with a well-taken goal by Sergio Ramirez after a turnover in defence.
But the Joeys responded brilliantly after that and got a reward for some enterprising play as they drew level midway through the second half through Liverpool youth team player Jake Brimmer.
The 17-year-old picked out the top corner with a free-kick from outside the box and nearly pinched the result late on with a similar effort cannoning off the crossbar.
A tactical shift gave Tony Vidmar’s side the chance to press the five defenders and lead from the front in the second stanza.
It almost paid dividends immediately with a shot from Lucas Derrick blocked shortly after the break, with the follow up by Pierce Waring again thwarted by Costa Rica's keeper.
The Joeys kept pushing forward and the breakthrough eventually came after Josh Hope was fouled on the edge of the box after a magnificent slaloming run.
Set-piece specialist Jake Brimmer made no mistake from 20 yards out, putting it into the top right corner.
That goal gave the Joeys a much-needed boost and they looked the more likely from then on to grab the win.
A chance to take the lead came shortly after, with Derrick cynically tripped by a Costa Rican defender after going clear on goal.
Brimmer stepped up yet again, but his shot cannoned off the crossbar and the Costa Ricans escaped, the match finishing 1-1.
With their final friendly now out of the way, the Aussie youngsters will now move from their training base to Chillan, where they will play all three of their FIFA U-17 World Cup group stage games.
The Joeys begin their World Cup campaign against Germany on Sunday, October 18, before taking on Mexico on Wednesday (October 21), and then wrapping up the group stage on Saturday (October 24) against Argentina.
Mixed news for Caltex Socceroos duo in Champions League qualifying
Milos Degenek’s Red Star Belgrade are still alive in their bid to qualify for this season’s UEFA Champions League, but there was heartbreak for Tom Rogic’s Celtic. After a 1-1 draw at home in the first leg, Celtic lost 2-1 against Greek side AEK Athens on Wednesday morning to
Young Socceroos set for kick off in 2018 SBS Cup
A selection of Australia’s finest U18 footballers commence their 2018 SBS Cup campaign in Japan tomorrow evening. Ante Milicic’s side take on the host nation at Fujieda Stadium at 7.30pm kick off (AEST). AUSSIES ABROAD: Maclaren, Vukovic impress in Europe READ: Why Rene
Instant MLS impression a promising sign for Brad Smith
Brad Smith played just over four hours of football for Bournemouth last season. But it took 73 minutes for the Caltex Socceroos fullback to claim accord with new club Seattle Sounders after an impressive Major League Soccer debut yesterday. AUSSIES ABROAD: Maclaren, Vukovic