Qantas Joeys fail to reach FIFA U17 World Cup
FULL REPORT:The Qantas Joeys have failed in their bid to make next years FIFA U17 World Cup, after going down 3-2 to the UAE in their quarter final clash at the MHSK Stadium in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
The Qantas Joeys have failed in their bid to make next years FIFA U17 World Cup, after going down 3-2 to the UAE in their quarter final clash at the MHSK Stadium in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
In a day of high drama, Australia's opponent for the quarter final clash wasn't known until earlier that morning after Yemen was sensationally disqualified after breaching the age rule, with relation to one of their players.
That saw Australia's opponent revised from Japan to the United Arab Emirates, which on paper appeared a comfortable win, given how the two teams performed in their respective groups, but it didn't turn out to be the case.
Australia came from a goal down to take the lead early in the second half through goals by Ben Kantarovski and Trent Sainsbury, but surrendered the lead and the UAE grabbed a late winner in injury time to knock Australia out of the tournament.
Coach Martyn Crook was very disappointed with the result and performance and admitted they were punished missing numerous chances in the first half and after taking the lead.
"We are obviously disappointed that we were beaten today," he said. "We had plenty of opportunities in the first-half and we should have scored them so we got punished for that.
"After we took a 2-1 lead we had a chance to score a third goal from a one-on-one situation but we didn't. We were punished quickly for that as UAE leveled the scores.
"We were really vulnerable from crosses. The crosses have cost us the match and UAE players took full advantage from these mistakes.
“UAE played well although the last two days were hard for them," he added. "Their players showed a great fighting spirit and they were really good on the break with quick counter-attacks.”
UAE with little to lose given they had no preparation for the match came out of the blocks quickly when Fahad Salem headed home unmarked past Robert Kolac after just seven minutes.
But it was mostly Australia for the remainder of the half, but they wasted several guilt-edge chances with Nikola Stanojevic heading straight to the keeper and then seconds later saw the UAE keeper deny him with a good reflex save.
The closest they came to leveling it up was just three minutes before half time when Brendan Hamill-s powerful header smacked against the crossbar.
But just three minutes after the break, Australia did manage to draw level when Newcastle Jets- Ben Kantarovski was on hand to convert Marc Warren-s cross.
Australia then took the lead after 57 minutes, Sainsbury getting the final touch after Hamill had flicked on Jared Lum-s free kick.
Stanojevic then had the chance to extend the lead just minutes later when he was one-on-one with the keeper, but Saeed managed to smother the midfielder-s attempt.
Within minutes the scores were all level again, as UAE continued to fight hard and Salem pounced on a poor clearance to hit a powerful shot past Kolac.
Kantarovski almost had a second goal and the lead back for Australia with eight minutes remaining, when his header beat Saeed, but was cleared off the line.
In a dramatic finish, Abdulla Mohammad reacted quickest after Ahmed Al Balooshi hit the crossbar with a shot in the first minute of injury time, leaving Australia no time to snatch an equaliser.
Australia 2 (Ben Kantarovski 48-, Trent Sainsbury 57-) UAE 3
Qantas Joeys line-up: Robert Kolak (gk); Chahine Noujaim, Marc Warren, Brendan Hamill, Jared Lum, Ben Kantarovski, Nikola Stanojevic, Kamal Ibrahim, Chris Bush, Trent Sainsbury, Stephen Domenici (Danai Gapare 83-) Subs not used: Nicholas Tubbs (gk); Nathan Farrell, Tedros Yabio, Bailey Wright, Cameron Edwards, Aaron Lennox (gk), Marc Perrone, Dimitrios Petratos Unavailable: Petar Franjic, Eli Babalj
Cautions: Nil Expulsions: Nil