Qantas Young Socceroos record another qualifying win

The Qantas Young Socceroos took a giant stride towards qualification for the AFC U-19 Championship with a solid 2-0 win over Vietnam overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Qantas Young Socceroos took a giant stride towards qualification for the AFC U-19 Championship with a solid 2-0 win over Vietnam overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Queensland Roar utility Mitch Nichols and AIS midfielder Isaka Cernak-Okanya scored the goals that leaves Australia needing just a win over group minnows Guam tomorrow to progress to next year's championship. The top ranked teams at next year-s tournament will qualify for the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt.

The Australians dominated on a bumpy pitch despite being forced to wait until the final 20 minutes to open the scoring.

The Qantas Young Socceroos did have the ball in the net a few minutes prior to the interval after Melbourne Victory defender Sebastian Ryall unleashed a fierce volley only for the goal to be disallowed for a push. Just moments earlier Ryan McGowan had strong claims for a penalty denied when he was upended in the penalty area.

Australia maintained the pressure after the interval with Tahj Minniecon and Nathan Elasi squandering good chances in front of goal before James Holland struck the crossbar with a 20 metre strike.

The deadlock was finally broken on 73 minutes when Nichols headed home after good lead-up work from Luke DeVere and also Holland.

Immediately after goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne was forced into action for one of the few occasions in the match when he made an outstanding save following a poor back pass.

Soon after Cernak doubled the lead when he headed home from 12 metres after a cross from Milos Lujic.

Australia lost striker Elasi to a red card seven minutes from time for a second cautionable offence, with Vietnam also having a player dismissed a few minutes prior.

In the other group match the Korean Republic defeated Indonesia 3-0. Australia will face the Koreans in the final group match on Wednesday with the match likely to decide which team wins the group. The top two teams in the group will progress to next year-s AFC U-19 Championship in Saudi Arabia.

Australia 2 (Mitch Nichols 73-, Isaka Cernak-Okanya 80-)

Vietnam 0

Australian line-up: Andrew Redmayne (gk), Peter Cvetanovski, Luke DeVere, Sebastian Ryall (C), James Holland (Oliver Bozanic 82-), Isaka Cernak-Okanya, Ryan McGowan (Mitch Nichols 63-), Tahj Minniecon, Daniel Mullen, Jason Hoffman (Milos Lujic 76-), Nathan Elasi

Cautions: Holland 10-, Elasi 81-, Bozanic 90-, Elasi 83-

Red Card: Elasi 83-,

Australia are in Group G in the preliminary qualifying competition alongside Korea Republic, Indonesia, Guam and host-nation Vietnam. The top-two teams from each of seven preliminary stage groups will advance to the Asian finals in 2008 along with the best third-placed team. Hosts Saudi Arabia qualify automatically for the finals which will be held from November 1-16, 2008.

The Qantas Young Socceroos squad to compete in Vietnam is:

Peter Cvetanovski, Luke DeVere, Marko Jesic, Daniel Mullen, Milos Lujic, Matthew Theodore, Isaka Cernak-Okanya, Matthew Jurman, (all AIS), Tahj Minniecon (AIS/Queensland Roar), Sebastian Ryall (Melbourne Victory), Andrew Redmayne (AIS/Central Coast Mariners), Matthew Mullen (AIS/Adelaide United), Jason Hoffman (Newcastle Jets), James Holland (AIS/Newcastle Jets), Nathan Elasi (Marconi Stallions), Glen Trifiro (Marconi Stallions), Michael McEntagert (Everton, England), Ryan McGowan (Hearts, Scotland), Rocky Visconte (Hearts, Scotland), Oliver Bozanic (Reading, England), Mitch Nichols (Queensland Roar) * All players AIS-based unless stated otherwise

Australia v Indonesia 2-0 Tuesday 6 November

Australia v Vietnam 2-0 Thursday 8 November

Australia v Guam Saturday 10 November

Australia v Korea Republic Wednesday 14 November All matches to be played at Thanh Long SC, Ho Chi Minh City