Young Socceroos downed by Panama

The Young Socceroos have been beaten 6-1 by Panama at Waikato Stadium in their latest friendly in New Zealand.

Fielding a youthful side with an eye to the future the Australian U-20 side were out-muscled by their Central American opposition, who are preparing to compete in next month’s FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Wanderers forward Steve Kuzmanovski was the scorer for the Aussies, with the result coming on the back of a comeback win over hosts New Zealand and a loss to Qatar.

Qatar defeat Young Socceroos in New Zealand

Having narrowly missed out on qualification for FIFA’s June tournament, also being staged in New Zealand, coach Paul Okon has used these games to blood players that will be part of Australia’s next cycle of international talent.

The matches also form part of his team’s preparations for the AFC U-19 Championship 2016 Qualifiers which will be held from 28 September to 6 October 2015.

Young Socceroos' comeback victory over New Zealand

“This is an ideal opportunity for us to get a head start on our preparations for the AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers and the next U-20 World Cup,” said Okon ahead of the tournament.

“The majority of the squad that we have selected are born in 1997 compared to our opposition who are born in 1995 to compete at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

“It’s important for us to play as many international matches against quality opposition for us to improve and give us a head start for qualifying for the next U-20 World Cup.

“This is an ideal chance for this group of players to impress and show that they are capable of performing at international standard.”

The Young Socceroos will next play Ghana on Wednesday in their final tour match before they welcome Brazil’s U-20 side to WIN Stadium in Wollongong on 27 May.