In Bolivia undertaking preparation of the AFC Championships, the Qantas Joey’s played the first of a five-match series against the under-19 team from La Paz based club, ‘The Strongest’.
In Bolivia undertaking preparation of the AFC Championships, the Qantas Joey-s played the first of a five-match series against the under-19 team from La Paz based club, ‘The Strongest-.
On a gusty afternoon in Santa Cruz the locals were primed and caught the young Australians off guard, getting in behind the defence in the first ten seconds to score a surprise goal.
Despite the disappointing start the Joey-s fought back and were able to have an equal amount of possession in the first half, which was not without further chances for both teams..
In the fifth minute Australia looked set to equalise when consistent pressure from Daniel De Silva on the Bolivian defence saw their keeper fumble in the box, only to clear despite the efforts of the Australian number 10.
There were a number of similar chances at both ends in the first half and the Joeys looked to have a slight advantage but were unable to turn those chances into goals throughout the half.
The trend continued in the second half, where despite a glut of possession and a number of solid opportunities in a challenging second half, the Joey-s couldn-t find the back of the net, incurring a 1-0 loss in their opening encounter.
Despite the loss, Assistant National Technical Director, Alistair Edwards remained upbeat, but also aware of the challenges that lay ahead against an older and stronger team.
“This tour is going to be very challenging for everyone, we have our first two games at sea level and then we move to la Paz to play 3 games in the altitude. The altitude will be challenging enough but also playing against a team containing many 19year olds when half of our team is 15 is really going to test our resolve,” Edwards said.
“What-s certain is that the squad will come away from this experience game-hardened and also a great deal wiser after a few on the field lessons in South American street smartness”
“Both teams are being tested by world renowned sports scientists as we go and one of the interesting aspects of the Bolivian players is that they have a blood composition on par with world class cyclists due to living in the altitude of La Paz”
Qantas Joey-s James BALDACCHINO, Aaron CALVER, Daniel DE SILVA, Alex GERSBACH (20- Todd NORRIS), Jack IREDALE, Andre JANNESE, Steve KUZMANOVSKI, Joshua MACDONALD,, Matthew NTOUMENOPOULOS ( 54- Kevin LY), Liam ROSE, Matthew STEWART
Substitutes not used Jordan THURTELL, Darcy MADDEN, Rocco PIZZATA, Jordan PUDLER
Did not play Brandon LUNDY, Matthew SCHMIDT, Lukas STERGIOU