Nine-men Qantas Young Socceroos draw again

The Qantas Young Socceroos have overcome the sending off of two players to draw 2-2 with Chile in its final match of its South American tour. Central Coast midfielder Oliver Bozanic scored both Australia's goals in the first half.

The Qantas Young Socceroos have overcome the sending off of two players to draw 2-2 with Chile in its final match of its South American tour.

The young Australian team, who had drawn its other two internationals, scored twice in the first half through Oliver Bozanic, but dubious red cards to Brad Porter and Matt Spiranovic, allowed Chile back into the match.

A new look starting line-up took to the field for the last international match with Perth Glory keeper Alex Vrteski, Robbie Kruse, Tarek Elrich, Brad Porter, Ben Vidaic, Oliver Bozanic and Sebastian Ryall all getting their first starts of the three international matches.

Australia started well and Vidaic had the first chance after 10 metres, but he shot wide from 15 metres. A minute later Elrich was one-on-one with the keeper, but he too shot wide.

Getting the ball wide was causing the Chilean defence all sorts of problems and Vidaic headed over the bar after Kruse had made a great run down the right flank and cross into the box.

Australia-s good play finally paid off in the 25th minute, when Kruse made another great run before flicking the ball to Elrich. The Newcastle Jets speedster raced into the box and crossed to Bozanic, who made no mistake with his shot on goal.

Australia-s second goal came in more bizarre fashion again through Bozanic. The Chile keeper came racing out of his penalty area to attempt a clearance, but only succeeded in hitting it straight into Bozanic, who was closing down, with the ball rebounding into the goal.

The game though took a twist just a minute before half time, when Porter was shown a second yellow card for an innocuous tackle and was subsequently sent off.

Despite the extra man advantage the Chile attack was rarely threatening the Australian goal, until they scored their first goal in the 70th minute.

With Chile pressing, they received a free kick in the 87th minute, which also resulted in a straight red card for Spiranovic and left Australia with nine-men.

The resulting free kick was spilt by Vrteski and in the subsequent scramble, Chile managed get the ball over the line.

“The first half we played really well and should have more than the two goals,” said coach Ange Postecoglou. “We were totally dominating, but then we had some decisions go against us, which allowed Chile back into the game in the second half.

“The players worked hard in the second half and it was unfortunate that we conceded the two goals.

“This is all part of the experience and the boys will hopefully learn from what happened today.”

Despite not winning any of the internationals, Postecoglou was overall happy with the tour and with the development of the team.

“It was a good tour; we have drawn all three international matches and were in a position to win all three.

“From a development point of view, the whole experience is a step forward in our preparations for the AFC Championships. The squad developed as the tour progressed and overall the performances were very good.”

Match Details

Chile 2 (70-, 87-) Australia 2 (Oliver Bozanic 25-/32-)

Australian line-up: Alex Vrteski (gk), Stephen O'Dor (Peter Eleftherakis 55-), Matt Spiranovic, Chris Grossman (c), Bruce Djite, Robbie Kruse (Cameron Watson h/t), Tarek Elrich (Evan Berger 60-), Brad Porter, Ben Vidaic (Troy Hearfield 65-), Oliver Bozanic (James Downey 60-), Sebastian Ryall Subs Not used: Mitchell Langerak, Shaun Ontong Unavailable: Ryan McGowan

Cautions: Porter (30- & 44-), O-Dor (50-) Expulsions: Porter (44-), Spiranovic (87-)