The Young Socceroos are into the final of the AFF Under-19 championships after a fabulous win over tournament hosts Vietnam overnight, with Sydney FC and Wanderers players starring.
A first-half blitz form Ufuk Talay’s side was the difference as they surged to a 3-0 lead at the break before going on to win 5-2 at the Hang Day Stadium.
Skipper George Blackwood (Sydney FC) and midfielder Mario Shabow (Wanderers) both scored doubles before Joseph Champness ensured there would be no late comeback from Vietnam with the final goal six minutes from time.
The victory sets up a berth in Saturday’s final against Thailand, who beat the Young Socceroos 5-1 in the group stage.
“It was a very good first-half. We are here to be challenged and Vietnam came back in the second half which was very good,” Talay said.
“We made some changes in the second half and that changed the face of the game.
“But we need to make them so as to avoid risking injuries.”
After an even start to the contest, the Young Socceroos went in front midway through the first half when Connor O’Toole beat one defender on the left and crossed to Blackwood for a simple finish.
It was 2-0 three minutes later when excellent play by Champness led to Shabow to pounce with a clinical finish.
Shabow had his second 10 minutes before the break with Blackwood laying it off to Shabow on the edge of the area and he cut inside onto his right foot and curled a pinpoint finish into the bottom corner.
The Young Socceroos continued their dominance after the break and Blackwood had his second on 53 minutes after the hosts only half cleared a corner, with the Sydney FC attacker outjumping his defender to head home from close range.
Two quick goals from Vietnam set up a tense finish but Champness eased any nerves on 84 minutes as he slid in at the far post to sweep home O’Toole’s cross.
Australia hit six against Chinese Taipei to set up Korea Republic decider
The Australian U-23 national team are one step closer to the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship after defeating Chinese Taipei 6-0 on Sunday evening. Having beaten Cambodia by the same scoreline in their Group H opener on Saturday morning, Graham Arnold’s side dominated proceedings ag
Australia make strong start in Phnom Penh on road to Thailand and Tokyo
The Australian U-23 National Team got their 2020 AFC U-23 Championship Qualification campaign off to a strong start in Cambodia on Saturday morning (AEDT), recording a solid 6-0 win over their hosts in Phnom Penh. From the outset Australia looked well prepared for their Cambo
'These boys are ready': Arnold confident ahead of AFC U-23 qualifiers
Graham Arnold was at the helm the last time an Australian team qualified for the Olympic Games with a squad skippered by Mark Milligan and containing a host of players who would go on to become Caltex Socceroos. Now 11 years on from those 2008 Games, Arnold leads a new crop of
'We have to thank Australia for giving us this opportunity': The magnificent mix of the Caltex Socceroos
Australia is a melting pot, and nothing illustrates that more than the country's national team, the Caltex Socceroos. Harmony Day, held each year on March 21, is Australia’s celebration of cultural diversity.