An Anthony Proia goal has given the Qantas Young Socceroos a 1-0 win over host nation Indonesia in their opening match of the AFC U-22 Championship Qualifiers.
An Anthony Proia goal just before half time has given the Qantas Young Socceroos a 1-0 win over host nation Indonesia in front of a capacity crowd of 45,500 in their opening match of the AFC U-22 Championship Qualifiers played in Pekanbaru.
Going into the tournament, Qantas Young Socceroos Head Coach Paul Okon had to make two changes to his squad with Luke O-Dea coming in for the injured Adam Taggart and David Vrankovic replacing Curtis Good.
Terry Antonis was given the honour of captaining Australia for the first time.
The Qantas Young Socceroos dominated possession for the opening 15 minutes and created a couple of opportunities but were unable to convert.
Midway through the half Ben Garuccio made a run down the left, and crossed into the box for Anthony Proia who was unable to finish cleanly.
The Indonesians began to get more possession as the match progressed and were dangerous on the break. They forced the Qantas Young Socceroos defenders to work hard and forced goal keeper Nick Munro into making a couple of great saves.
Deep into additional time of the first half, a corner from Garrucio was put to the far post, which was met perfectly by Proia who headed home to give the Qantas Young Socceroos the lead going into the break.
The second half was a hard slog for both teams as the heat and humidity took its toll. The Indonesians put a lot of pressure on in the final 15 minutes with a number of dangerous shots on goal, but some great defending and goalkeeping from Nick Munro allowed the Qantas Young Socceroos to hold on for an important opening win.
Speaking after the match, Qantas Young Socceroos Head Coach Paul Okon was very happy with his team-s opening result of the tournament
“It was a great performance in difficult conditions against a good opponent in front of a huge home crowd. It was also a fantastic experience for our players to play in front a parochial full stadium,” Okon said.
“The players played some very good football and we probably could have got a few more goals. The Indonesian team are a very good team and we were playing against players 2-3 years older.
“We now turn our focus to the next game and are looking to build on this result and put in another solid performance,” Okon concluded.
In the other matches Japan beat Macau 6-0 and Singapore defeated Timor Leste 2-1.
The Qantas Young Socceroos will play their next match against Macau on Saturday 7 July followed by matches against Singapore (10 July), Timor Leste (12 July) and Japan (15 July).
The top two teams from Group E and the best third placed team of all groups (total 15) will then progress to the AFC U-22 Championship which will be played in January 2014.
Indonesia 0 Qantas Young Socceroos 1 (Anthony Proia 45+2-) Riau Main Stadium, Penkabaru, Indonesia Thursday 5 July 2012 Referee: Tan HAI (CHINA P.R.) Assistant Referees: Mu YUXIN (CHINA P.R.) & Deniye GEDARA PALITHA PARAKKRAMA HEMATHUNGA (SRI LANKA) Fourth Official: Win CHO (MYANMAR) Crowd: 45,500 Temperature: 34 deg C (hot & humid)
Indonesia: 45.Aji SAKA (Gk), 3.Dany SAPUTRA (28.Safrudin TAHAR 66-), 4.Syaiful INDRA CAHYA, 5.NURMUFID, 9.Hendra ADI BAYAUW, 10.ANDIK (C) (15.Mustaid BILLAH 87-), 14.RASYID, 18.Agung SUPRIYANTO, 25.Agus NOVA, 31.SYAHRONI, 47.Fandi EKO UTOMO (13.KURNIAWAN 52-),
Substitutes Not Used: 1.Muhamad RIDWAN (Gk), 6.DIO, 8.Ridwan AWALUDIN, 21.YOSUA, 27.Achmad FARIS, 30.Teguh WAHYU, 34.DHIKA (Gk), 36.NOVRIANTO, 44.Bima RAGIL SATRIA RAKASIWI,
Yellow Cards: nil
Red Cards: nil
Qantas Young Socceroos: 18.Nick MUNRO (gk), 2.Josh BRILLANTE, 3.Connor CHAPMAN, 5.Corey BROWN, 6.Reece CAIRA (21.Brandon O-NEILL 85-), 8.Jake BARKER-DAISH, 10.Terry ANTONIS (c), 11.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 14.Anthony PROIA (43.Luke O-DEA 72-), 16.Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO (13.Daniel PETKOVSKI 81-), 42.Ben GARUCCIO
Substitutes not used: 12.Aaron LENNOX (gk), 15.Nicholas FITZGERALD, 17.Mitch COOPER, 19.Jason GERIA, 20.James DONACHIE, 23.Yianni PERKATIS, 30.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 39.David VRANKOVIC, 41.Riley WOODCOCK
Yellow Cards: Giancarlo Gallifuoco 15-, Reece Caira 45+1-
Red Cards: nil