The Qantas Young Socceroos have been defeated 3-1 by the Netherlands U-21 Men’s national team in an international friendly at the Univé Stadium in the Netherlands.
The Qantas Young Socceroos have been defeated 3-1 by the Netherlands U-21 Men-s national team in an international friendly at the Univé Stadium in the Netherlands.
Going into the match, the Qantas Young Socceroos knew they were in for a challenge with the Dutch team boasting 10 players who regularly play for the Senior Netherlands Men-s National team and the entire squad regular first team starters in the Dutch Eredivisie league and other top European leagues.
Although this was the Netherlands U-21 team they were in fact up to 3 years older than the Qantas Young Socceroos because under UEFA rules the players must be Under 21 when the qualifying starts (born from 1 January 1990) with the Qantas Young Socceroos born anytime after 1 Jan 1993 with some players in fact born in 1995 (Sam Galloway) and 1997 (Daniel De Silva).
With Curtis Good on the bench, Jackson Irvine captained of the Qantas Young Socceroos for the first time and Scott Galloway and Connor Pain making their international debuts.
The Netherlands took the lead in the 4th minute with a well taken free kick from the edge of box, that went over the wall into the top corner giving Qantas Young Socceroos goalkeeper Paul Izzo no chance of saving.
Qantas Young Socceroos played nervously in the first half allowing the hosts to dominate possession.
The Netherlands doubled their lead on the half hour mark and then added their third just before half-time.
After the break the Qantas Young Socceroos improved markedly, playing better football and putting sustained pressure on the Dutch limiting their opportunities significantly.
Ryan Williams had a great chance to peg a goal back for the Qantas Young Socceroos in the 65th minute with a 1-on-1 with the Dutch goalkeeper, but was denied by a great save.
Four minutes later Mustafa Amini played a great ball to Adam Taggart whose shot was time deflected by the Dutch goalkeeper. The deflected ball was heading into the goal but was desperately cleared off the line by a Dutch defender to deny the Qantas Young Socceroos yet again.
The Qantas Young Socceroos had another great chance in the 87th minute when Daniel De Silva played a ball over the top to Andrew Hoole whose shot just went wide to the left of the goal
Persistence paid off for the Qantas Young Socceroos at the end of regulation time when a shot from Hoole from just inside the box was parried by the Dutch goalkeeper, but this time Jamie Maclaren was on hand to collect the rebound and slot home from a tight angle.
After the match, Qantas Young Socceroos Head Coach Paul Okon was very proud of his teams efforts considering the quality of the opposition.
“Our preparation for Turkey basically started on Tuesday when we had the full squad together for the first time since the AFC Championships last November,” said Okon
“The opportunity to play a world class football nation was fantastic and the players can be proud of their efforts.
“The first half we were a bit nervous and some mistakes cost us goals which we need to eliminate out of our game leading into the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey.
“We addressed some of these issues at half time and the players responded and the second half was exceptional outplaying Holland for most of the half.
“The only disappointing thing was that we failed to convert the 1-on-1 opportunities we had to score more goals. The goal we scored was a just reward for the players hard work and effort.
“Now we continue our camp in Cyprus where we will play another top country in Germany,” concluded Okon.
The Qantas Young Socceroos will now travel to Cyprus where they will play the German U-21 Men-s National Team at Paralimni Stadium on Friday 31 May.
Netherlands U-21 Men-s National team 3 Qantas Young Socceroos 1 (Jamie Maclaren 90-) Univé Stadium, Emmen, Netherlands Friday 24 May 2013
Qantas Young Socceroos line-up: Paul Izzo (gk), Josh Brillante, James Donachie, Connor Chapman, Sam Galloway, Jackson Irvine (c), Ryan Williams (Andrew Hoole 77-), Adam Taggart (Jamie Maclaren 77-), Mustafa Amini (Daniel De Silva 83-), Connor Pain (Ryan Edwards 74-), Jason Geria (Reece Caira 83-).
Yellow Card: Jackson Irvine 86-