Okon praises Young Socceroos after narrow Brazil loss

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.”

The Young Socceroos and Brazil U-20's captains before kick-off at WIN Stadium.

Young Socceroos edged by Brazil

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.

The Young Socceroos and Brazil U-20's before kick-off at WIN Stadium.

“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.