Qantas Young Socceroos held to draw by Thailand

Qantas Young Socceroos held to draw by Thailand in Ho Chi Minh

HO CHI MINH CITY 27 July 2010

In a rematch of the 2009 Asean Football Federation (AFF) U-19 Youth Championships final, the Qantas Young Socceroos looked to make amends for their 2009 loss to Thailand.

With two changes to the starting squad from the previous game, the Australian team was looking to cement their place in the final again this year.

In hot and humid conditions the Qantas Young Socceroos looked to put Thailand on the back foot from the opening whistle, with Benjamin Halloran having a strike on goal in the opening few minutes after some good lead up play.

Moment-s later Qantas Young Socceroos defender Brendan Hamill found himself unmarked in the box to receive a pin point cross from Mathew Leckie.

Hamill stayed composed to slot the ball neatly into the corner of Suchin Yen-Arom-s goal.

Australia continued to dominate the half with Benjamin Kantarovski leading the way from his central midfield position.

With a new combination on the left side in Halloran and Sam Gallagher the Qantas Young Socceroos looked to open the Thailand defence up leaving space for Mustafa Amini and Dimitrios Petratos to make threatening runs in behind.

It wasn-t until the 37th minute that Thailand brought Qantas Young Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Birighitti into action when he was forced to make a fine save.

Thailand received another chance on goal moments later when Nikola Stanojevic was judged to have fouled his player just outside the box.

From the resulting free-kick, Birighitti was left stranded as the ball took a deflection sending him the wrong way. Lucky for the Australian team the ball bounced back off the post and into Birighitti-s hands.

After the break the Qantas Young Socceroos looked to start where they had left off with Halloran again causing havoc down the right side of the Thailand defence.

A few wayward passes then started to creep into the Australian teams play, opening up opportunities for the Thailand team. Pokklaw A-Nan managed to collect one of these loose passes in the middle of the park and started an attacking raid on the Qantas Young Socceroos goal.

In the 71st minute Pattana Sokjoho managed to round defender Sam Gallagher before calmly slotting the ball underneath the advancing Birighitti.

Head Coach Jan Versleijen looked to make a late change and switched in Matthew Fletcher for Petratos up front.

The move looked to give the Qantas Young Socceroos the upper hand again however they were unable to capitalise on any opportunities.

Australia-s next game is against Vietnam on Wednesday 28th July at 6.30pm at Thong Nhat Stadium.

Australia 1 (Brendan Hamill 3-)

Thailand 1 (Pattana Sokjoho 71-)

26 July 2010 AFF U-19 Youth Championships 2010 Thong Nat Stadium, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Qantas Young Socceroos starting line-up: 1. Mark Birighitti (GK), 2. Nikola Stanojevic, 3. Brendan Hamill (16. Daniel Bowles 41'), 4. Sam Gallagher, 6. Benjamin Kantarovski (c), 7. Mathew Leckie, 10. Christopher Bush (5. Kliment Taseski 46'), 11. Benjamin Halloran, 12. Dimitrios Petratos (14. Matthew Fletcher 82'), 13. Mustafa Amini, 19. Dylan McGowan

Substitutes not used: 8. Steven Lustica, 9. Eli Babalj, 15. Kamal Ibrahim, 17. Theodore Markelis, 18. Matthew Acton (GK), 20. Ryan Edwards