Qantas Young Socceroos down Macau

The Qantas Young Socceroos have defeated Macau 3-2 in their second match of the AFC U-22 Championship Qualifiers in Pekanbaru.

The Qantas Young Socceroos have defeated Macau 3-2 in their second match of the AFC U-22 Championship Qualifiers in Pekanbaru.

Qantas Young Socceroos Head Coach Paul Okon made ten changes to the line-up from the team that played Indonesia in the opening match with Jake Barker-Daish the only player to start both matches. James Donachie was handed the captain-s armband.

The afternoon match kicked off in oppressive conditions with extremely high humidity and a very bumpy pitch.

The Qantas Young Socceroos got off to the perfect start when Riley Woodcock scored in the second minute with an easy tap in.

Luke O-Dea doubled the Qantas Young Socceroos lead 5 minutes later when his shot found the back of the net after being played in by Jake Barker-Daish.

O-Dea completed his brace in the 13th minute when he headed home Riley Woodcock cross from the left to give the Qantas Young Socceroos a commanding 3-0 lead.

Macau pegged a goal back in the 19th minute following a fast break through centre of the pitch by striker De Jesus Morias Alves Vinicio. Qantas Young Socceroos goal keeper Jack Duncan came out to meet the ball but was caught out of position and Vinicio calmly put the ball over Jack Duncan into the goal.

Through the opening 45 minutes Macau played very deep inside their half making it hard for the Qantas Young Socceroos to find space when going forward.

The second half saw Macau continue to be dogged in defence with the Qantas Young Socceroos trying to break them down with wave after wave of attack.

Macau surprised the Qantas Young Socceroos in the 77th minute when they scored their second goal through captain Leong Ka Hang who was able to capitalise on another break and put his shot beyond the reach of the outstretched Jack Duncan.

The Qantas Young Socceroos didn-t lose their composure and had a great chance to extend their lead just before full-time when Mitch Cooper delivered the ball to Anthony Proia in the box who turned and hit his shot into the right-hand post.

Qantas Young Socceroos Head Coach Paul Okon was happy with the result, but disappointed that his team conceded two goals after taking the earlier lead.

“It was obviously a good start scoring three goals in the first 15 minutes,” said Okon.

“We found it difficult to break Macau down when from the outset as their only intention was to sit deep and defend.

“It was disappointing to concede two goals on the only two counter attacks that Macau had. This will serve as a valuable lesson moving forward and playing in Asia ,” concluded Okon.

In the other matches Japan defeated Singapore 3-1 and Indonesia were 2-0 winners over Timor Leste.

The Qantas Young Socceroos will face Singapore on Tuesday (10 July) then Timor Leste (12 July) and Japan (15 July).

The top two teams from Group E and the best third placed team of all groups (total 15) will then progress to the AFC U-22 Championship which will be played in January 2014.