Qantas Joeys train at altitude

The Qantas Joeys have continued their altitude training camp, with another game against Bolivian U19 side The Strongest.

The Qantas Joeys have continued their altitude training camp, with another game against Bolivian U19 side The Strongest.

With a modified schedule to allow two separate teams to play each half, the only Australian players to play the full 90 minutes were striker Josh MacDonald and goalkeeper Andre Jannese.

The Qantas Joeys first-half team lost 2 - 0 with the second-half side drawing 1 - 1.

The early exchanges were fairly even with Jannese making a great save to stop a cracking shot from the edge of the box in the ninth minute.

As the first half wore on, the Qantas Joeys began to noticeably tire in the difficult conditions and the extreme altitude allowed the Bolivians to gain the ascendancy, and they took the lead just past the half hour mark.

The home side continued to push their advantage, going forward with purpose with an excellent piece of combination play on the left before a terrific shot from 25 metres sailed into the top right-hand corner.

The Qantas Joeys were unlucky in the 40th minute when a strong strike by MacDonald just edged over the cross bar, but the first-half team finished 2-0 down.

Following a raft of changes during the break, the second term continued in much the same vein with the teams evenly matched but hungry for goals.

The Bolivians were first to have a chance on goal with a shot that inched over the bar, followed shortly after by a well-placed cross from Brandon Lundy on the right that the Qantas Joeys forwards just couldn-t get on the end of.

But the Australians finally made the breakthrough in the 73rd minute, as centre back Aaron Calver beat three opponents and passed the ball to Alex Gersbach on the left who then played an inch perfect cross into the box where MacDonald, a thorn in the Bolivian-s side all tour, crashed an unstoppable header into the top right-hand corner.

The remainder of the half was played at a great intensity and occasionally spiteful and threatened to flare up with the Bolivians awarded a penalty and scored in the 88th minute to finish the half 1-1.

The Qantas Joeys now have a week of training in the altitude of La Paz before their final encounter against the Bolivian U19 national team on Sunday, 2 September.

Qantas Joeys head coach Alistair Edwards said he was satisfied with the training match and his team-s performance in difficult conditions.

“Today was an excellent exercise. In effect it was a training session played under match conditions and both teams got a great deal out of it; each player played at least 45 minutes and this has enabled the players to further adapt to the conditions.

“There were so many positives to take away: the goal we scored was quality, a great build up, fantastic cross and a quite brilliant header by Josh”

“At this stage of our preparation and also adaptation to playing in these conditions to be able to play two separate teams for each half was perfect.

“Backing up from two high intensity pre-game training days this enabled the boys to focus on maintaining the appropriate tempo we will be required to play at in Iran, and apart from a 10-minute spell in the first half where some of the boys noticeably tired, this was achieved.”