Qantas Joeys defeats Uruguay in final warm up match

The Qantas Joeys will head into their opening FIFA U-17 World Cup game full of confidence after defeating Uruguay 2-1 in a 2x40 minute unofficial international friendly in Pachuca.

The Qantas Joeys will head into their opening FIFA U-17 World Cup game full of confidence after defeating Uruguay 2-1 in a 2x40 minute unofficial international friendly in Pachuca.

Down 0-1 at the break, striker Dylan Tombides struck twice in the second half as the Qantas Joeys stormed home against a tiring Uruguayan outfit to record a morale boosting victory ahead of Monday-s opening clash with Côte d'Ivoire in Guadalajara.

Uruguay had the better of the first half as they refused to allow the Joeys to play out from the back with ease, and the South Americans pounced on a mistake in midfield to go into half time ahead.

But after some stern words and instructions from Qantas Joeys Head Coach Jan Versleijen during the break, together with the spark provided by the injection of Teeboy Kamara into left midfield, the Qantas Joeys came out a different team as they started to maintain possession for longer periods and start to make the most of the space being created by a rapidly fatiguing Uruguay.

“In the beginning we tried to play our own game - patient building up from the back and then try to get it in the midfield, but after ten minutes, and this is what you see with teams that have a little bit more quality, they (Uruguay) recognise what you-re doing and they find an answer,” Versleijen said in assessing his team-s first half performance.

“For us, we could not find the next answer or the solution for their way of playing. It took us until half time before we actually changed our game, and we did, which is a good thing.”

From the time the second half began, it was a case of the longer the game went the better the Qantas Joeys played, and after some sustained pressure in the front third, they scored a deserved equaliser when Tombides toyed with two Uruguayan defenders on the left hand side of the penalty area before sending a well directed left footed shot past the keeper.

Midfielder Mitch Cooper then missed a chance to snatch a late winner as he drilled a shot into the side netting, but the Qantas Joeys would not be denied as another superb combination of passes in the dying minutes ended with Tombides producing a first class finish that the Uruguayan keeper could only watch hit the back of the net.

“That-s part of our way of playing. We like to play short passes, we like to play combinations, we like to have a lot of variation and positioning, and it helped that Uruguay dropped and gave us some more time and space, but the good thing is that we used it in a positive way,” Versleijen said.

“The game got a little bit more stretched which helped our way of playing a bit more, and the second half was quite promising - we created quite a lot of chances, scored two very good goals and it was another experience to add to the team.”

Having watched his team run over the top of Uruguay, Versleijen credited the detail and planning that went into preparing the players for competing in high altitude, and added that the positive result was evidence of what this squad can achieve.

“It is physical on the bodies playing at altitude and until now, if I compare to the other teams we have played against, I think our preparation has been really good, and that preparation comes from the time the boys spent at the AIS, and an important person in that was AIS Strength and Conditioning Coach Aaron Holt, he made all of the programs for us,” Versleijen said.

“It is confidence but I like to call it belief in your ability. Confidence only comes when you work hard and do the right things.”

“Confidence does not fall out of the sky. To get confidence you have to work, and they worked today.”

The Qantas Joeys will depart Pachuca for their base in Guadalajara on Thursday morning (Mexico time) to finalise preparations for their opening match against Côte d'Ivoire on June 20.

“We-re going to spend some time with our set plays, which can be important in World Cup games, and we-ll also tweak and fine tune some small things in our way of playing,” Versleijen said.

“Every game from here will still be a learning moment, and the sooner we can pick these learning moments up, the better we will be in the next games,” concluded Versleijen.

Training Match Details Qantas Joeys 2 (Dylan Tombides x2) Uruguay 1 @ Pachuca Club De Futbol, Mexico

Qantas Joeys squad: 1.Paul IZZO (gk), 2.Jake MONACO, 3.Connor CHAPMAN (c), 4.Tom KING, 5.Corey BROWN, 6.Yianni PERKATIS, 7.Hernan ESPINDOLA, 8.Mitch COOPER, 9.Dylan TOMBIDES, 10.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 11.Luke REMINGTON, 12.Lachlan TIBBLES (gk), 13.Teeboy KAMARA, 14.Milos DEGENEK, 15.Anthony PROIA, 16.Stefan MAUK, 17.Jacob MELLING, 18.Daniel SADAKA (gk), 19.Mitchell OXBORROW, 20.Nicholas ANSELL, 21.Riley WOODCOCK

Uruguay squad: 1.Jonathan CUBERO (gk), 2.Emiliano VELAZQUEZ, 3.Gaston SILVA, 4.Agustin TABAREZ, 5.Heber RATTI, 6.Maximiliano MOREIRA, 7.Leonardo PAIS, 8.Elbio ALVAREZ, 9.Sergio CORTELEZZI, 10.Guillermo MENDEZ, 11.Rodrigo AGUIRRE, 12.Guillermo DE AMORES (gk), 13.Juan Cruz MASCIA, 14.Santiago CARRERA, 15.Jim VARELA, 16.Santiago CHARAMONI, 17.Gianni RODRIGUEZ, 18.Sebastian CANOBRA, 19.Juan SAN MARTIN, 20.Alejandro FURIA, 21.Gaston RODRIGUEZ (gk)