Qantas Young Socceroos advance after Jordan win

The Qantas Young Socceroos have defeated Jordan 2-1 overnight to top Group D and advance to the quarter-finals of the AFC U19 Championships in Saudi Arabia.

The Qantas Young Socceroos have defeated Jordan 2-1 overnight to top Group D and advance to the quarter-finals of the AFC U19 Championships in Saudi Arabia.

Goals to Milos Lujic and Sebastian Ryall sealed the important victory for the Qantas Young Socceroos, although a late goal from Jordan substitute Zaid Khalil set-up an exciting finish to the match.

In perfect football conditions, Jordan had the better of the opening exchanges but could not create any serious goal scoring opportunities.

The Qantas Young Socceroos improved as the match progressed and broke the deadlock five minutes before half time when Tahj Minniecon played a ball into the middle of the park to Mitch Nichols who found Milos Lujic on the left edge of the penalty box. Lujic then hit a stinging right foot shot past the Jordan goalkeeper Emad Feras which hit the inside of the left post and then went into the goal.

The Qantas Young Socceroos came close to doubling their lead shortly afterwards when Lujic tried to set up Nichols following a long ball from Ryan McGowan, but Nichols was unable to get a shot away to trouble the keeper.

Jordan continued to look for an equaliser after the break and came close to scoring just after the hour mark when Fathi Omar broke free and then played in midfielder Suleiman Loiy behind the Qantas Young Socceroos defence. But when presented with his one-on-one opportunity Loiy could not beat Qantas Young Socceroos goal-keeper Andrew Redmayne who produced a confident save.

The Qantas Young Socceroos doubled their lead in the 70th minute when Mitch Nichols was brought down in the box by a rash challenge from the Jordan captain, Ibrahim Zawahreh. Sebastian Ryall made no mistake from the penalty spot to give his team a two goal buffer going into the closing stages of the match.

Jordan pulled a goal back in the 82nd minute through substitute Zaid Khalil, and although Jordan attacked strongly for the last ten minutes, the Qantas Young Socceroos defence, and in particular goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne, held firm to take the win and the top position of Group D.

Qantas Young Socceroos Head Coach Jan Versleijen was pleased with the result and his team-s performance during the group stage of the tournament .

"Our goal was to top the group and we have achieved this.

“Jordan were a very difficult opponent who had some good passages of play but we also lost the ball a number of times too easily giving Jordan some chances.

“We now have ninety minutes of football to qualify for the World Cup and we need to focus on this and our quarter final opponent DPR Korea as they will be a very tough opposition," concluded Versleijen.

In the other group match, Uzbekistan defeated Thailand 3-2, whilst in Group C China PR topped the table with DPR Korea in second place.

The Qantas Young Socceroos will now play DPR Korea in the Quarter Finals on Saturday 8 November. Should the Qantas Young Socceroos defeat DPR Korea, not only will they progress to the semi-finals of the AFC U19 Championships, but they will also qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup which will be held in Egypt from 10-31 July 2009.

Match Details

Jordan 1 (Zaid Khalil 82-) Australia 2 (Milos Lujic 40-, Sebastian Ryall 71-(pen))

Wednesday 5 November 2008 Prince Mohammed Bin Fahad Stadium, Dammam, Saudi Arabia Referee: Hedayat Mombeni (IR Iran)

Australia line-up: 18.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 2.Seb RYALL, 4.Luke DEVERE (c), 5.Nik TSATTALIOS, 6.Mitch NICHOLS (24.James BROWN 74-), 8.James HOLLAND, 9.Milos LUJIC, 14.Oliver BOZANIC (23.Isaka CERNAK 58-), 19.Sam MUNRO, 20.Marko JESIC (7.Tahj MINNIECON 36-), 34.Ryan MCGOWAN

Substitutes Not Used: 3.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 15.Matt JURMAN, 11.Thomas OAR, 28.Daniel MULLEN, 12.Jason NAIDOVSKI, 16.Peter CVETANOVSKI, 36.Nathan ELASI, 42.Daniel IRELAND (gk), 41.Michael MCENTAGERT (gk),

Yellow Cards: Marko Jesic 19-, Oliver Bozanic 56-, Milos Lujic 81- Red Card: Nil