Paul Okon believes the Young Socceroos’ impressive performance against Brazil on Wednesday night shows they are on the right track to being able to match it with any nation in world football.
Speaking after his side’s narrow 1-0 loss to the South American heavyweights, Okon feels his youngsters are building nicely with the AFC under-19 championships just a few months away.
“No doubt [we took a lot of confidence out of that match],” Okon said.
“Within our dressing room and environment we don’t fear anybody. That’s why we pushed to have these games against these big nations.
“We want to prove we can play against anybody and we’ve done that. So I’m very happy.”
Adding further credence to the Young Socceroos’ performance was the fact they played more than half an hour with just 10-men following the second half dismissal of Brandon Borrello.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Okon’s side still created a number of excellent opportunities against the Samba stars, but wasteful finishing cost them what would have been a sensational result.
“[The send was] disappointing because it’s a friendly game…[Borrello] slid in late but he didn’t get him,” Okon said.
“[But] we showed determination. We weren’t going to sit back and try to defend. It’s not what we’re doing at the moment and we were unlucky not to get a goal.
“From our perspective we’re happy, results probably don’t show what we’re trying to do but we ignore that and continue to do what we’re doing.
“We gave an opportunity for these boys to play international football against quality opposition and I think everyone saw tonight we’re not inferior to any football nation.
“It’s just disappointing we didn’t end up getting a goal.”
Okon will re-assemble his squad again in July and August for two separate training camps ahead of the AFC under-19 Championships in late September.
The side is hoping to qualify for the next under-20 World Cup, which will be held in Korea in 2017.
Aussies Abroad: Vukovic’s Genk beaten in battle of Belgium’s top two
Danny Vukovic’s Genk remain well clear on top of the table despite falling to a rare defeat in Belgium against Club Brugge overnight. In a meeting of the competition’s top two at the Jan Breydel Stadion, Genk were beaten the fired-up home side, going down 3-1. There was lit
Aussies Abroad: Ryan’s Brighton through to Quarter-Finals while Milligan, Giannou pick up strong results
There were a handful of Caltex Socceroos in action on Sunday morning (AEDT) while some key figures were rested as their clubs negotiated cup ties. Firstly to Europe where Mark Milligan played a full 90 at the heart of Hibernian’s midfield as they welcomed new manager Danny Hec
Aussies Abroad: Luongo gallant in Watford defeat
Caltex Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo can turn his attention to the EFLChampionship after QPR crashed out of the FA Cup on Saturday morning (AEDT). The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes in QPR’s 1-0 loss to Watford at Loftus Road, in a tight game where each side cou
When to watch your Caltex Socceroos this weekend
There's FA Cup action on the cards for two Australians this weekend as another prepares for a massive top-of-the-table encounter. Multiple players are involved in matches with major title ramifications, while Mark Milligan has a new manager to impress in Scotland. Read on t