Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Young Socceroos qualify for AFC U19 Quarter Finals

Australia’s Young Socceroos, the national U19 football team, has qualified for the Quarter Finals of the 2010 U19 AFC Championships.

Under the guidance of Dutchman Jan Versleijen, Australia has backed up its billing as one of the pre-tournament favourites with two comfortable victories.

In their first outing, Australia easily accounted for Yemen 4-1 after falling behind early. The man on everyone’s lips in Australia, Matthew Leckie, starred and only enhanced his reputation as one of Australia’s most promising young talents.

Were it not for this tournament there is every chance he’d be part of Holger Osieck’s Socceroos squad for this weekend’s friendly against Paraguay.

This afternoon the Young Socceroos scored another victory, this time over middle-eastern power Iran, keeping a clean sheet and scoring three at the other end.

Australia did get lucky with a quarter of an hour to play when Iran captain Payam Sadeghian missed a penalty and a chance to get back in the game.

But in the end goals to Mustafa Amini, Kerem Bulut and Terry Antonis allowed Australia to register a 3-0 win and seal a place in the Quarter Finals.

The win was soured, however, with a last minute red card to Marc Warren and a possible injury to Kofi Danning.

Australia will now become fans of Yemen, hoping they can spring a surprise and take something from their clash with South Korea later tonight.

Australia’s final group stage game will be against the Koreans on Friday. Whilst it is likely that both teams will have already qualified for the Quarter Finals, neither team will be holding back as top spot in the group is all important.

The team that finishes top will likely take on the UAE in the Quarter Finals and avoid a clash with perennial powerhouses Japan.

Teams need to qualify for the Semi Finals in order to seal qualification for the 2011 U20 FIFA World Cup in Colombia.

After two strong performances and seven goals in two games, it is looking likely that Australia will qualify for its second consecutive U20 World Cup.

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