Young Socceroos get first COTIF win

The Young Socceroos have defeated Saudi Arabia 3-1 in their third match of the COTIF International Tournament in L’Alcuida, Spain overnight.

The Young Socceroos have defeated Saudi Arabia 3-1 in their third match of the COTIF International Tournament in L-Alcuida, Spain overnight.

The match again started in very warm conditions and right from the start the Young Socceroos signalled their intentions to play good possession based football.

The fast ball movement of the Young Socceroos meant that the opportunities began to open up early on.

In the 8th minute Mitchell Oxborrow played a great through ball, from the midfield, to Nicholas Olsen on the left flank. Olsen gathered the ball, took on his defender and then unleashed a shot that the Saudi goalkeeper could only block. The deflected ball fell to the feet of Cristaldo who made no mistake in finishing to give the Young Socceroos the early lead.

The game continued at a fast pace for the remainder of the half, but neither side could break the other down.

The second half saw the Saudis make five substitutions to their line-up and the changes allowed them to work their way back into the game creating some chances. The Saudis were eventually rewarded for their efforts in the 56th minute when Mohammed scored following an attacking run down the left wing.

The Young Socceroos restored their lead a minute later after Stefan Mauk collected the ball in midfield and passed to Cristaldo who charged down the right side and then crossed to Skapetis. Skapetis was able to connect and accurately finish with pretty much his first touch of the game after coming on as a substitute for Awer Mabil only moments before.

Just before full-time, Skapetis doubled his tally when he received a pass from Mauk who had previously intercepted the ball from a Saudi clearance. Skapetis found himself with ball, unmarked inside the penalty box and then neatly placed his shot into the bottom left corner of the goal to seal a deserved win for the Young Socceroos.

After the match the Young Socceroos Head Coach Paul Okon was very pleased with the result and his team-s performance.

“A great effort and performance by the team tonight,” said Okon.

“Our aim in this tournament, as a new team having just come together, was to implement our style of play and improve in every match and tonight we did that.

“It is credit to the players that we were able to win this evening and it is due credit to the effort they have put in during the tournament which has been first class.

“We now recover quickly and turn our focus to the match against Spain tomorrow evening which will be another great opportunity for the players to play one of the world-s top football nations,” concluded Okon.

The Young Socceroos will face the host nation Spain in the last match of the COTIF International Tournament tonight.