Qantas Young Socceroos commence tour in style

The Qantas Young Socceroos kicked off their preparations for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt with a hard-fought 2-1 win over a physical Trinidad and Tobago in Cyprus last night (Friday morning AEST).

Check out the Photo Gallery of the match

The Qantas Young Socceroos kicked off their preparations for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt with a hard-fought 2-1 win over a physical Trinidad and Tobago in Cyprus last night (Friday morning AEST).

Aaron Mooy was involved in both goals at the Agia Napa Municipality Stadium, scoring the second himself after whipping in a corner for the first, which found that back of the net via a Trinidad and Tobago player.

They took just six minutes to get off the mark, although they were aided when Tobagan defender Jamal Gay sliced his clearance from Mooy-s corner, which goal keeper Glenroy Samuel subsequently failed to deal with and the ball ended up in his net.

The second came in first half stoppage time when winger Thomas Oar won a free kick on the edge of the area. Aware that Samuel was anticipating a cross and standing off his line ever so slightly, Mooy curled a clever free kick just inside the near post to make it 2-0.

Mooy was a persistent danger from set pieces while James Holland hit the post and Jason Hoffman had a goal ruled offside late in the game.

Coach Jan Versleijen took the unusual step of making just one substitution, taking precaution with right back Daniel Mullen who came off with hamstring tightness.

On the other hand, Trinidad and Tobago made nine second half changes and the fresh legs put the Australians under pressure in every sense, racking up five bookings by the end of the match.

Substitute Juma Clarence made the most of a clever cross and left keeper Andrew Redmayne with no chance in the 82nd minute to score a consolation.

But the Qantas Young Socceroos dug deep to hold out and Versleijen believes his strategy of giving as many players as possible a full match will help them acclimatise to the stifling conditions expected in Egypt.

"Normally I would make changes also but because we're playing three games I've decided to give each player a full 90 minutes, unless there is an injury of course," Versleijen said.

"It's a kind of overload, instead of training you play 90 minutes and the boys are very tired but that-s not a problem, it's part of the preparation and we have enough time to reach the desired physical level."

Versleijen was pleased to start the tour with a win, although he knows plenty of improvement is required before the Qantas Young Socceroos kick off their FIFA U-20 World Cup campaign against Czech Republic on 27 September.

"Their keeper made a few mistakes, but it-s always good to win, doesn-t matter how," he said.

"At this stage of the camp I-m not happy with where they-re at physically, but I knew when they were coming that some would struggle because they weren-t getting many playing minutes with their clubs."

"But we have time to bring those players up to the required level, both physically and tactically."

"The biggest positive was that everybody pretty much got through the 90 minutes and we got a chance to see what things we need to improve on."

"The first half in patches we did well but we didn-t take advantage of our extra player in the midfield and sometimes we panicked in the attacking third and rushed things."

"In the second half we dropped too deep and if you do that you-re asking for trouble. Also, we need to strike a better balance at times like when we want to keep the ball or make a fast counter attack."

"Some of our players had some problems physically because some still have jetlag and that woke us up a little."

“I was also a bit disappointed we didn-t match Trinidad and Tobago when they applied physical pressure on us."

"But we can learn from all of these things.--

The Qantas Young Socceroos are likely to field almost an entirely different line up when they tackle England on 19 September, after Versleijen revealed that he wants to give every player at least 90 minutes to prove themselves prior to the tournament.

Their third and final friendly is against the USA a day later, before the squad departs for Egypt.

"At this stage it-s not important who we play, it-s how we perform," Versleijen said.

“But the USA are more experienced and better organised, it will be a more difficult game and I expect the England game to be an even higher level, so they-ll both be more challenging."

All Qantas Young Socceroos matches at the FIFA U-20 World Cup will be broadcast live and exclusive on SBS TV (see for full broadcast details).