WATCH: Australia U23’s take down Turkmenistan to reach AFC U23 Asian Cup final four

The Australia U23’s have advanced to the semi-final stage of the AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022 thanks to a tight 1-0 triumph over Turkmenistan in Tashkent on Saturday.  

In the first meeting between the two nations at U23’s level, an own goal headed home by Oraz Orazov in the 74th minute was enough for Trevor Morgan’s side to overcome their tricky opposition.

In a disjointed first half filled with regular stoppages, clear-cut opportunities were few and far between.

Jay Rich-Baghuelou went close on his return from suspension, driving a long-range strike into the side netting after 36 minutes.

Ramy Najjarine and Lachlan Brook also threatened throughout the first 45, but both sides would head into the sheds scoreless.

Turkmenistan continued to sit deep which saw Australia look to start on the front foot in the second half, with Cameron Peupion and Najjarine finding a few sights on goal, however none could trouble Rasul Charyyev.

With 15 minutes remaining and the prospect of extra-time growing, Australia found the breakthrough in fortuitous fashion.

A flat delivery from half-time substitute Louis D’Arrigo took a touch off the head of Turkmenistan defender Orazov, cannoning off the underside of the crossbar and over the line – with fellow introduction Bernardo fast-approaching to take home and confirm the goal.

Following that point, Turkmenistan employed an increasingly attack-minded approach and came close to equalising on a few occasions late.

Inside the final ten minutes Joe Gauci pulled out a vital double-save to preserve Australia’s clean sheet and ultimately ensure advancement to the final four.

Post-game, coach Trevor Morgan and captain Tyrese Francois praised Turkmenistan as tricky opponents.

“It was a difficult game for both the players and coaching staff,” Australia’s interim U23’s head coach said.

“Turkmenistan had two approaches for the match and both were challenging for us.”

“We have huge respect for Turkmenistan who made it very tough for us,” Fulham FC’s Francois added.

They sat back which made it difficult to break them down but we knew if we stayed patient the chances would come, and fortunately they did in the end.”

Australia will face the winner of Monday’s quarter final between Group D victors Saudi Arabia and Group C runners-up Vietnam in their semi final at the historic Pahktakor Stadium on Wednesday.

A victory would ensure the Green and Gold’s highest-ever finish at the AFC U23 Asian Cup, with 2020’s third-placed result the nation’s best to date.


Date: Saturday, 11 May 2022
Venue: Bunyodkor Stadium, Tashkent
Kick-off: 6:00pm (local), 11:00pm (AEST)
Broadcast: Live and Exclusive on Paramount+

Australia Line up: 1. Joe GAUCI (GK), 2. Lewis MILLER, 3. Jay RICH-BAGHUELOU, 4. Jordan COURTNEY-PERKINS, 5. Jordan BOS, 6. Tyrese FRANCOIS ©, 7. Lachlan BROOK (21. Bernardo 68’), 9. Alou KUOL (8. Patrick Yazbek 92’), 10. Ramy NAJJARINE, 14. Joshua NISBET (16. Louis D'ARRIGO 45’), 17. Cameron PEUPION (19. Patrick WOOD 68’)

Subs not used: 12. Jacob CHAPMAN (GK), 13. Kai TREWIN, 15. Hosine BILITY, 18. Nicholas BILOKAPIC (GK), 20. Josh RAWLINS, 23. Jacob FARRELL

Yellow Card: D’Arrigo 59’

Red Card: N/A

Australia U23 Squad | AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022


Club, Country

Junior Club
(Member Federation)


Fram Reykjavik, Iceland

Croydon Kings FC (Football South Australia)

Nicholas BILOKAPIC (Gk)

Hartlepool United, England

Sydney United 58 FC (Football NSW)

Jordan BOS

Melbourne City FC, Australia

Hoppers Crossing SC (Football Victoria)

Lachlan BROOK

Adelaide United FC, Australia

Gawler Eagles FC (Football South Australia)

Jacob CHAPMAN (Gk)

Huddersfield Town AFC, England

Epping Eastwood Tigers FC (Football NSW)


Rakow Czestochowa, Poland

Newmarket SFC (Football Queensland)


Adelaide United FC, Australia

West Torrens Birkalla SC (Football South Australia)


Central Coast Mariners FC, Australia

Wyoming FC (Football NSW)


Fulham FC, England

Campbelltown Uniting Church SC (Football NSW)

Joe GAUCI (Gk)

Adelaide United FC, Australia

Cumberland United FC (Football South Australia)


FK Austria Wien II, Austria

Fairfield Hotspurs SC (Football NSW)


SV Sandhausen, Germany

Shepparton SC (Football Victoria)


Central Coast Mariners FC, Australia

Pittwater RSL FC (Football NSW)


Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia

Mounties Wanderers FC (Football NSW)


Central Coast Mariners FC, Australia

St Marys FC (Football NSW)

Bernardo Oliveira (BERNARDO)

Adelaide United FC, Australia

Port Adelaide Pirates SC (Football SA)


Brighton Hove & Albion FC, England

Wakehurst FC (Football NSW)


Perth Glory FC, Australia

Dianella SC (Football West)


Accrington Stanley FC, England

Palm Beach SC (Football Queensland)


Brisbane Roar FC, Australia

Gungahlin United FC (Capital Football)

Patrick WOOD

Sydney FC, Australia

Collaroy Cromer Strikers FC (Football NSW)

Patrick YAZBEK

Sydney FC, Australia

Austral Soccer Club (Football NSW)

Kusini YENGI

Adelaide United, Australia 

Fulham United FC (Football South Australia)


Match Schedule | Australia U23 | AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022

Semi-Final: Australia U23 v Saudi Arabia or Vietnam U23
Date: Wednesday, 15 June 2022
Venue: Pahktakor Stadium, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Kick-off: 6pm (local); 11pm (AEST) 
Broadcast: Live in Australia on Paramount+