Qantas Joeys beaten by The Strongest

The Qantas Joeys have been defeated 2-0 by Bolivian side The Strongest, in the third game of their South American tour.

The Qantas Joeys have been defeated 2-0 by Bolivian side The Strongest, in the third game of their South American tour.

Playing in the world- highest capital, La Paz, the Qantas Joeys got a taste of what it-s like to play football at a high altitude of 3600m above sea leavel.

The Bolivians team started well and were immediately on the attack, when their No.10 was played in behind the Qantas Joey-s defence only to be thwarted by Australian keeper Andre Jannese, coming off his line to make a fine save.

Steve Kuzmanovski had the chance to put the Qantas Joeys in front in the 15th minute after Rocco Pizzata played a fine ball in behind the Bolivian defence, but with the keeper to beat Kuzmanovski scuffed his shot.

The Strongest broke the deadlock just before half-time, when their No.7 was dragged down in the box and converted the following penalty.

The second half was an evenly matched affair with both sides creating opportunities.

The Qantas Joeys continued to work hard but the effect of altitude was showing and in the 83rd minute the flight of the ball deceived Jannese who was unable to clear and The Strongest were able to find the back of the net in the subsequent scramble.

Qantas Joeys coach Alistair Edwards said he was pleased how his team responded to a difficult environment, despite the result.

“Considering this was the first time the Joeys had played at this altitude we were surprised at how well they handled the conditions,” Edwards said.

“The Bolivians scored at the end of each half when the boys were tiring, but to be able to maintain our match tempo for 30 minutes of each half against 19-year-old players who are brought up in these conditions was more than we expected”

“What we found from the game was that the altitude affects the trajectory of the ball and therefore made it a challenge to judge the passes, particularly over longer distances. The players also found it difficult to repeat the high-intensity actions necessary at this level, the last 15 minutes of each half proved to be a real challenge”

“We now have four days of training before the next game to see if there is a demonstrated adaptation to the conditions.”

Qantas Joeys James BALDACCHINO, Daniel DE SILVA (77- Jordan PUDLER), Alex GERSBACH (64- Lukas STERGIOU), Jack IREDALE, Andre JANNESE (GK), Steve KUZMANOVSKI, Kevin LY (81- Liam ROSE), Joshua MACDONALD, Matthew NTOUMENOPOULOS, Rocco PIZZATA, Matthew STEWART (84- Darcy MADDEN)

Substitutes not used Aaron CALVER, Brandon LUNDY, Matthew SCHMIDT, Jordan THURTELL

Did not play Todd NORRIS (inj)