Qantas Young Socceroos start World Cup qualifiers with a win
The Qantas Young Socceroos have commenced their qualification campaign for the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Indonesia in Vietnam.
The Qantas Young Socceroos (Australia U-20) commenced their qualification campaign for the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Indonesia in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Second half goals to AIS midfielder Daniel Mullen and Queensland Roar midfielder Mitch Nichols ensured the win in Group G of the first stage of Asian qualifying.
The match was played in trying circumstances with large puddles of water throughout the field despite the match being delayed for 30 minutes following a torrential downpour two hours prior to kick-off.
The Indonesians rarely threatened the Australian goal and defended in numbers restricting Australia to long range efforts on goal in the first half.
Australia looked likely to break the deadlock early in the second half firstly having a strong claim for a penalty for handball waved away, before Mullen had the ball in the net only for the goal to be disallowed after the ball had been ruled to have gone out of play.
Mullen was not to be denied however and he opened the scoring on the hour mark with a diving header when a ball was knocked back across the box.
Australia doubled their lead ten minutes from full time after some good interplay between James Holland (pictured) and Nathan Elasi saw the ball played square across the penalty area to Nichols who turned his defender and as spinning towards goal hit his shot into far low corner.
Australia had gone a man down just minutes prior to the second goal after Matthew Mullen was sent off for retaliation after a late tackle on Luke DeVere, in a match which saw a total of seven yellow cards issued.
Captain and Melbourne Victory defender Sebastian Ryall missed the match due to a pre-existing suspension.
In the other group match the Korean Republic defeated Guam 28-0 (twenty-eight). Australia will next meet host nation Vietnam tomorrow.
Australia 2 (Daniel Mullen 60-, Mitch Nichols 80-)
Australian line-up: Andrew Redmayne (gk), Peter Cvetanovski, Luke DeVere, Matthew Jurman, James Holland (C), Mathew Theodore (Matthew Mullen 60-), Isaka Cernak-Okanya (Ryan McGowan 81-), Tahj Minniecon, Daniel Mullen, Oliver Bozanic (Mitch Nichols 72-), Nathan Elasi
Cautions: Minniecon, Jurman, Bozanic
Red Card: Matthew Mullen 76-
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 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup will be held in Egypt.
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 (uncontracted), 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 Tuesday 6 November
Australia v Vietnam 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
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