Qantas Under 23s Go Down in Seven-Goal Thriller

The Qantas Under 23s have been defeated 3-4 by Chile Under 23s in an enthralling match at Darwin Football Stadium tonight.

The Qantas Under 23s have been defeated 3-4 by Chile Under 23s in an enthralling match at Darwin Football Stadium tonight.

A crowd of 1,404 was on hand to see the first international football match in the Northern Territory and neither teams disappointed scoring seven goals in ninety minutes.

The Qantas Under 23s opened the scoring in the 20th minute when a Dario Vidosic corner found Aaron Downes unmarked at the far post for a header and he was able to slot home without any trouble. Chile equalised five minutes later when Chilean captain Esteban Paredes curled his left-footed free-kick over the Australian defensive wall leaving goalkeeper Justin Pasfield little chance of saving.

The Qantas Under 23s had an opportunity to take the lead shortly before the half-time break when they were awarded a free-kick just outside the edge of the box, but Dario Vidosic's shot went over the cross-bar and the score remained the same going into the break.

The Chileans took the lead two minutes into the second half when Boris Sagredo and was able to drive a half-volley into the net following a well taken free-kick.

Aaron Downes bagged his second and equalised for his team in the 68th minute following another corner and Troy Hearfield grabbed the lead back for the Qantas Under 23s in the 76th minute following a good piece of individual strength that resulted in his left footed strike finding the bottom corner of the goal.

But the Chileans fought back and equalised again in the 82nd minute when Eduardo Vargas was on hand to capitalise on a wayward backpass from Aaron Downes. Vargas making not mistake with his one-on-one opportunity with Pasfield.

Esteban Paredes scored the winner for Chile in the 85th minute when he flicked on a corner inside the near-post to end a high scoring affair.

After the match, the Qantas Under 23s coach Graham Arnold was disappointed with the result but happy with the performance.

"You never like to lose a match, but I was happy with the overall performance of the players," said Arnold

"We became a little disjointed towards the end with six substitutions but this match was more about testing ourselves against quality opposition.

"Three of the goals we conceded were from set pieces, but those sort of errors can be fixed.

"We will now use Sunday's match to give some other players a chance to impress ahead of the final team selection", concluded Arnold

The Qantas Under 23s will meet the Chile Under 23s again on Sunday 29 June 2008 (kick-off 5:00pm ACST) at Darwin Football Stadium. Tickets for the match are still available from Darwin Entertainment Centre (

Match Details:

Qantas Under 23s 3 (Aaron Downes 20'/68', Troy Hearfield 76') Chile Under 23s 4 (Esteban Paredes 26'/85', Boris Sagredo 47', Eduardo Vargas 82')

Friday 27 June 2008 Darwin Football Stadium, Darwin Australia Referee: Ben Williams (Canberra) Assistant Referees: Mark Finestone (Darwin) & Ned Sparkes (Darwin) Fourth Official: Rohan Kelly (Darwin) Crowd:1,404

Qantas Under 23s: 18.Justin Pasfield (gk), 5.Mark Milligan, 6.Bruce Djite (10.Nikita Rukavysta 68'), 9.Tarek Elrich, 14.Billy Celeski, 15.Leigh Broxham (23.Nick Ward 79'), 17.Aaron Downes (16.Robert Cornthwaite 86'), 19.Mark Bridge (captain) (4.Michael Zullo 83'), 21.Dario Vidosic (7.Neil Kilkenny 67'), 22.Troy Hearfield, 24.Adam D'Apuzzo.

Substitutes Not Used: 1.Chris O'Connor (gk), 11.Jason Hoffman, 12.Nigel Boogaard, 28.Trent McClenahan.

Yellow Cards: Leigh Broxham 47', Adam D'Apuzzo 50', Aaron Downes 82'.

Red Cards: Nil

Chile Under 23s: 12.Fabian Cerda, 2.Marcelo Diaz, 3.Bruno Romo, 4.Eugenio Mena, 5.Bastian Arce, 6.Sebastian Mendez, 7.Felipe Seymour, 8.Angel Rojas, 9.Eduardo Vargas, 10.Esteban Paredes, 11.Boris Sa gredo

Substitutes Not Used: 1.Gregory Saavedra (gk), 13.Esteban Saez, 14.Sebastian Diaz, 15.Fabian Torres, 16.Sebastian Barrientos, 17.Lucas Dominguez, 18.Matias Campos,

Yellow Cards: Bruno Romo 60', Sebastian Barrientos 63', Eduardo Vargas 85', Esetban Paredes 89'.

Red Cards: Nil

Upcoming Match:

Qantas Under 23's v Chile Under 23's

Sunday 29 June 2008 Kick-Off 5:00pm ACST (5:30pm AEST, 3:30pm AWST) Gates Open 3:30pm Darwin Football Stadium, Darwin, Northern Territory

Ticket prices

Adult $15 Concession $8 (Pension Card Holders, Senior Card Holders, Full Time Students) Child $8 from 4 years to 16 years

Children 3 years and under free on the knee Family Tickets - $30 - 2 Adults and 2 Children Transaction fees may apply

On Sale Date Friday 20 June 2008 - 10am

Sales outlets Darwin Entertainment Centre Box Office - 93 Mitchell Street, Darwin NT 0800

Counter sales: Darwin Entertainment Centre Box Office Oasis News and Lotto, Palmerston Customer Service Desk, Casuarina Shopping Square Tourism Top End Mall Information Booth, Smith Street Mall

Telephone sales: Dial ‘n- charge - 08) 8980 3333 (Darwin Entertainment Centre Box Office)

Internet sales:

At Darwin Football Stadium on Match Day: - Please note that this is subject to ticket availability