Young Socceroos held by UAE

The Young Socceroos got off to a nervy start at the AFC U-19 Championships in Myanmar, being held to a 1-1 draw by the United Arab Emirates in the opening match of the tournament.

The Australian U-20 side are hoping to qualify for next year's FIFA U-20 World Cup by reaching the semi-finals but will have it all to do in their remaining two matches against Indonesia and Uzbekistan.

Brisbane Roar striker Brandon Borrello slotted a second-half goal to open the scoring for the Aussies but his efforts were cancelled out from the spot by UAE captain Khalfan Mubarak.

The match got off to a cagey start in humid conditions in Yangon as both sides struggled to maintain their composure on the ball.

Sydney FC attacker Chris Naumoff had a chance to break the deadlock on the half-hour mark when he fired a shot from outside the box but it was acrobatically parried away by the UAE keeper.

At the other end the UAE felt aggrieved not to be awarded a penalty after having a player brought down in the box. Their appeals were waved away by the Japanese referee as the sides went into the break deadlocked.

Chances were more frequent in the second stanza, with both sides looking a threat from set-pieces. Borrello and Awer Mabil both had chances to put their side in front, while the UAE had a second shout for a penalty turned down.

Coach Paul Okon went to his bench with 20 minutes remaining, with Jaushua Sotirio and Jordan Brown replacing Stefan Mauk and Chris Ikonomidis.

Okon, who is hoping to guide the Young Socceroos to next year's U-20 World Cup – a tournament that he reached the semi-finals of as a player back in 1991, urging his players forward.

The move paid dividends shortly after when some good link up play from Mabil and Naumoff put Borrello through on goal and he was able to squeeze the ball past the goalkeeper with just over ten minutes remaining.

Unfortunately the lead was short lived with the UAE finally having their appeals for a penalty heeded by the referee after Daniel Alessi was judged to have made a foul in the box.

The lively Khalfal Mubarak made no mistake from the spot, sending Jordan Thurtell the wrong way to level the scores.

The Young Socceroos went on the attack in the closing stages with a couple of good chances falling to Adelaide's Mabil but he was unable to convert and both sides had to settle for a point.

Australia 1 (Borello 79')

UAE 1 (Mubarak 84')

Young Socceroos Squad - AFC U-19 CHAMPIONSHIP 2014 – Myanmar - 9-23 October 2014


Club, Country

Daniel Alessi 

 Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia

Shannon Brady

 Brisbane Roar FC, Australia

Brandon Borrello

 Brisbane Roar FC, Australia

Anthony Bouzanis (gk)

 Sydney FC, Australia

Jordan Brown

 Melbourne Victory, Australia

Cameron Burgess

 Fulham FC, England

Daniel De Silva

 Perth Glory, Australia

Shayne D’Cunha

 Blacktown City, Australia

Scott Galloway

 Melbourne Victory, Australia

Hagi Gligor

 Sydney FC, Australia

Chris Ikonomidis

 SS Lazio, Italy

Paul Izzo (G/K)

 Adelaide United, Australia

Awer Mabil

 Adelaide United, Australia

Stefan Mauk

 Melbourne City FC, Australia

Dylan Murnane

 Melbourne Victory, Australia

Christopher Naumoff

 Sydney FC, Australia

Mark Ochieng

 Adelaide United, Australia

Liam Rose

 Central Coast Mariners, Australia

Peter Skapetis

 Stoke City FC, England

Jaushua Sotirio

 Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia

Jordan Thurtell (gk)

 Perth Glory, Australia

Benjamin Warland

 Adelaide United, Australia

Riley Woodcock

 Perth Glory, Australia