Qantas Joeys open tournament with victory

Qantas Joeys begin AFC U-16 Championship with 5-0 win over Timor Leste

The Qantas Joeys have begun their AFC U-16 Championship campaign with an emphatic 5-0 win over Timor Leste in Tashkent, Uzbekistan last night.

A double each to Jesse Makarounas and Luke Remington, with a late goal to substitute Riley Woodcock, gave the Qantas Joeys the ideal start to the tournament which also serves as a qualifier for the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

After a slow start to the game, the Qantas Joeys began to dominate possession as the match progressed, eventually opening the scoring in the 14th minute after Corey Brown beat two defenders down the left side and then whipped in a great cross for Jesse Makarounas to head home.

Jesse Makarounas doubled his tally six minutes later after receiving a Luke Remington cross from the left. Makarounas controlled the ball well with his chest and then calmly chipped the Timor Lest goalkeeper Ramos Maxanches from inside the box.

Just after the half-hour, the Qantas Joeys extended their lead even further when Jake Monaco dribbled down the right side and then played the ball into the box which Jesse Makarounas dummied, leaving Luke Remington to shoot low and hard out of reach of Maxanches and into the back of the net.

The Timorese had their best chance of the half in the 35th minute when Nidio Alves collected the ball on the edge of the box, turned and hit a great strike that forced a fantastic diving save by Qantas Joeys goal keeper Paul Izzo who tipped the ball over the crossbar.

The second half saw the Qantas Joeys ease off the pressure but continue to control the match.

The Qantas Joeys fourth goal came in the 79th minute after Brodie Paterson put a through ball to Corey Brown who clipped in a neat pass into the 6 yard box for Luke Remington who again cleanly collected and finished from close range.

Just before the end of regulation time Riley Woodcock made his international debut as a substitute for fellow debutant Ben Garuccio and a minute later Woodcock found himself on the scoresheet with his first touch of the ball, cleaning up a rebounded shot from a Milos Degenek which hit the post.

After the match, Qantas Joeys Head Coach Jan Versleijen was happy with his team-s first result but still saw areas for improvement.

“It was a good start to the tournament, we played some good football in the first half after we started to control the game and we managed to score three very good goals from good combinations of play,” said Versleijen.

“In the second half we couldn't get to the same level as the first half, although at no time were we in any danger. We were able to add two more goals in the last part of the match which was pleasing.

“We will now look to improve our performance for our next match against Vietnam,” concluded Versleijen.

In the other group C match Japan defeated Vietnam 6-0, whilst in Group D Iraq went to the top of the group with a 2-0 win over China PR and the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait played out a scoreless draw .

The Qantas Joeys will play their next match of the tournament against Vietnam on Wednesday 27 October (kick-off 7:00pm local, 1:00am AEDT) before their final group match against Japan on Friday 29 October (kick-off 1.00pm local, 7:00pm AEDT).

The top two teams from each group then advance to the quarter-finals on Monday 1 November, with the winners progressing to the semi-finals which will be held on Thursday 4 November. The final will be played on Sunday 7 November (kick-off 2:00pm local, 8.00pm AEDT).

The top four teams (the semi-finalists) from the AFC U-16 Championship will qualify for the FIFA U17 World Cup 2011 which will be held Mexico from the 18 June - 10 July.