Qantas Young Socceroos downed again by Kiwis

The Qantas Young Socceroos (U-20) have been defeated 3-1 by New Zealand today in the second of a three match training series being played at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra

The Qantas Young Socceroos (U-20) have been defeated 3-1 by New Zealand today in the second of a three match training series being played at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

A goal either side of the interval from the New Zealanders saw them hold a two goal advantage, with Evan Berger pulling a goal back after 67 minutes, before the visitors rounded out the scoring with a second goal for midfielder Sam Jenkins.

Both sets of players had trouble at times adapting to the conditions with high winds blowing down the pitch throughout the match.

Australia had 16 attempts to their opponents five, and also struck the frame of the goal twice through Bruce Djite and Jimmy Downey. New Zealand in contrast made the most of their opportunities though Jenkins also hit the woodwork in the second stanza.

Jenkins, who also scored the only goal of the match last Thursday, opened the scoring after 29 minutes when his shot travelled through an ill-prepared wall past Australian goalkeeper Aleks Vrteski who had yet to be forced into a save.

Qantas Young Socceroos striker Bruce Djite, having already had a number of attempts on goal, appeared set to even the ledger just on half time but his close range effort struck the crossbar with Chris Grossman-s follow up deflected narrowly over the bar.

Australia made four changes at half time however some poor defensive work allowed substitute Michael White to double the visitor-s advantage with a diving header converting a corner from the right side.

Soon after Australian substitute Jimmy Downey saw his shot tipped onto the crossbar, with Jenkins also hitting the frame of the goal with a well-struck shot from long range. Berger then scored to pull Australia back into contention with his free kick from the right deceiving the goalkeeper and landed inside the far post.

Jenkins scored his second and New Zealand-s third nine minutes from time with a well placed shot from the edge of the penalty area that went in off the post after Australia had turned over possession at the back.

The Qantas Young Socceroos forced to play out the final minutes with ten players after defender Stephen O-dor was dismissed for a second cautionable offence.

The two teams will meet for a third and final time on Wednesday at the AIS Athletic track in Canberra.

Both sides are preparing for their respective qualifying tournaments for next year-s FIFA U-20 World Cup. Australia will travel to India for the AFC U-20 Championship during October and November, with the top four teams at the 16-nation tournament to qualify for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada.

Qantas Young Socceroos 1 (Even Berger 67-)

New Zealand U-20 3 (San Jenkins 29-, 81-, Michael White 62-)

Australian line-up: Aleks Vrteski (gk), Stephen O-dor, Matthew Spiranovic (Michael Marrone h/t), Evan Berger (Greg King 72-), Christopher Nunes, Jamie Cumming, Troy Hearfield (Robbie Kruse 78-), Chris Grossman (Nikita Rukavtysa h/t), Tarek Elrich (Jimmy Downey h/t), Bruce Djite, Nathan Burns (Shaun Ontong h/t)

Unused Substitutes: Tando Velaphi (gk), Peter Eleftherakis, Dario Vidosic, Foad Comandari, Joel Allwright, Blake Charity, Wade Oostendorp, Joel Peach, Ben Kennedy (gk)

Cautions: O-dor 50-, Cumming 57-, Marrone 71-, O-dor 85-

Red Card: O-dor 85-

New Zealand starting line-up: Jacob Spoonley (gk), Ian Hogg, Phil Edgington, Jack Pelter, Tim Schaeffer, Michael Boxall, Shaun van Rooyen, Joel Wakelin, Nick Rodyhouse, Sam Jenkins, Craig Henderson.

Subs on: Michael Cunningham, Michael White, Michael Eager

Unused Substitutes: Reece Keane, Sam Peters, George Barbarouses

Cautions: White 92-

The match schedule is:

Qantas Young Socceroos v New Zealand u-20 Thursday 4 May, 5pm

Qantas Young Socceroos v New Zealand u-20 Sunday 7 May, 11am

Qantas Young Socceroos v New Zealand u-20 Wednesday 10 May, 5pm

Free entry to all matches which will be played at the AIS Athletic Track.

The Australian squad is:

Aleks Vrteski (gk) (Perth Glory/AIS), Tando Velaphi (gk), Michael Marrone, Peter Eleftherakis, Matthew Spiranovic, Shaun Ontong, James Downey, Troy Hearfield, Greg King, Chris Grossman, Dario Vidosic, Foad Comandari, Evan Berger, Stephen O-dor, Christopher Nunes, Nikita Rukavtysa, Joel Allwright, Robbie Kruse, Blake Charity (all AIS), Bruce Djite (AIS/Marconi Stallions, NSW), Tarek Elrich (Newcastle Jets), Wade Oostendorp (Sydney FC), Jamie Cumming (Frankston Pines, Vic), Ben Kennedy (gk) (Broadmeadow Magic, NSW)