Young Socceroos bow out of AFC Championships

The Young Socceroos have bowed out of the AFC U-19 Championships after being held to a 1-1 draw against Uzbekistan in their final group match on Wednesday morning.

Paul Okon’s men needed a win to guarantee progression to the quarter finals and looked on course when Stefan Mauk struck in the 66th minute to hand them a 1-0 advantage.

But Uzbekistan hit back with less than 10 minutes remaining and despite mounting a late onslaught the Young Socceroos were unable to fashion a winner.

The Young Aussies started the match brightly and controlled possession in the opening 20 minutes without fashioning a clear-cut chance.

Uzbekistan were content to play on the counter attack and had a half chance to open the scoring in the 22nd minute but Australian goalkeeper Jordan Thurtell smothered the danger. 

Both teams failed to penetrate in the opening half with the Young Socceroos looking the more likely without seriously threatening to find the net.

Australia came out in the second half with more intent and deservedly took the lead through Melbourne City midfielder Stefan Mauk in the 66th minute.

But the goal seemed to spark Uzbekistan into action and their weight of possession eventually told as they levelled the scores in the 83rd minute.

The Young Socceroos dominated the final stages as they pushed for a late winner but it wasn’t to be for Paul Okon’s men who bowed out of the tournament due to their inferior goal difference.

Young Socceroos XI: Thurtell (gk), D’Cunha, Alessi, Burgess, Galloway, Gligor, Mauk, De Silva, Mabil, Sotirio, Skapetis