WATCH: Unfortunate Joeys go down to Saudi Arabia in AFC U17 Asian Cup opener

Despite a promising performance, the Subway Joeys went down 2-0 to Saudi Arabia in their opening match at the AFC U17 Asian Cup in Thailand on Friday. 

Watch the key moments in the player above. 

While Brad Maloney's side created plenty of chances, two second-half goals from Saudi Arabia proved the difference in this Group C-opening encounter. 

Australia struck the first effort on goal inside two minutes, as Di Pizio saw his powerful shot sail high and wide. 

Saudi Arabia then fired a warning shot of their own inside 5 minutes, via the boot of Al-Jadaani. 

Australia produced a couple of other strong efforts on goal through Tiago Quintal in the 30th minute and Nestory Irankunda in the 34th minute, but Mahmoud Al-Bariah proved up to the task on both occasions. 

Both sides entered the break level, before the Saudi goalkeeper stood tall three minutes into the second half as Nathan Barrie's header bounced off the post into the path of Bailey O'Neil who was denied by a stunning close-range save. 


Australia would go behind in the 56th minute, as Nawaf Al-Bishri won the ball high up the pitch, rounded Pavlesic and tapped home into an empty net. 

The Joeys so nearly equalised in the 76th, as Yassin Khaled's attempted clearance clipped the crossbar and deflected to safety. 

As Australia committed numbers forward searching for an equaliser, Saudi Arabia added another on the counter-attack, with Nawaf Al-Jadaani extending their lead in the 86th-minute. 

"It was a disappointing result for us, it's not the kind of start we would have wanted at this tournament - we've worked hard to be here," Subway Joeys Head Coach Brad Maloney said in his official post-match press conference. 

"I thought we did quite well in the first 45 minutes, we conceded a goal from a defensive error and then we were chasing the game after that. 

"We probably found it tough in the warm and humid conditions but having said that, I'm not disappointed in our performance, particularly early in the game.

"I'm happy with the performance in general, just disappointed with the result - we just have to regroup for the next game against China." 

The Subway Joeys' next match against China will take place on Monday night, with kick-off scheduled for 8pm AEST. 

Australian audiences will once again be able to watch live and free on 10 Play. 

Australia 0
Saudi Arabia 2 (Al-Bishri 56', Al-Jadaani 86‎')
Date: Friday, 16 June 2023 
Venue: Chonburi Stadium, Thailand 

Australia Lineup: 1. Anthony Pavlesic (C), 5. Bailey O'Neil (3. Aden Green 64') 6. Andriano Lebib (23. Jordan Hoey 73'), 9. Mitchell Glasson, 10. Miguel Di Pizio, 11. Tiago Quintal (22. Nathan Amanatidis 59'), 13. Zac De Jesus (2. Peter Antoniou 46'), 15. Nathan Barrie, 16. Eddie Ince (14. Giovanni De Abreu 64'), 17. Nestory Irankunda, 19. Richard Nkomo

Substitutes not used: 4. Sotiri Phillis, 7. Daniel Bennie, 8. Corey Sutherland, 12. Daniel Graskoski, 18. Michael Vonja, 20. Campbell Dovison, 21. Fabian Talladira,