The Qantas Young Socceroos have commenced their 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup campaign with a well earned 1-1 draw with South American heavyweights Colombia.
Sixteen-year-old Perth Glory midfielder Daniel de Silva - the youngest player at the tournament - netted the match opener just after half time before Jhon Cordoba drew the Colombians level in the closing stages.
The first up stalemate against one of the tournament favourites was fitting reward for an Australian outfit that truly delivered on its promise of aesthetically pleasing possession based football from the opening minute.
"It was a great game, I think both teams showed their qualities," said Head Coach Paul Okon after the match.
"We knew before the game what we were up against, South American champions, but we also had this belief that if we could perform the way we know we can perform, play our style of football, we'd give ourselves a good chance of winning the game.
"We came very, very close, we're disappointed that at 1-0 we had two chances to probably put the game to bed.
"We didn't do that and unfortunately Colombia punished us. First game, we're delighted and we turn our attention now to El Salvador."
Pre-game, Okon promised an approach with an emphasis on patience in possession and by that measure the Young Socceroos were as brave as any team in green and gold has been on such a stage for some time.
The diligence shown by the Australian back four in keeping hold of the ball in tight spaces provided a platform from which the midfield could impose its influence with some frequency.
De Silva - a simply sublime contributor throughout - was a vital cog in Australia's attacking arsenal while wingers Andrew Hoole and Connor Pain each showcased moments of flourish.
It was an outstanding delivery from midfield standout Joshua Brillante that saw Pain go closest to netting a first half goal for the Young Socceroos, with the Melbourne Victory flyer only lacking a connection of more conviction that would have given Australia a deserved early lead.
Okon's charges weren't to be denied after the break, however.
De Silva was the beneficiary of a superb Hoole through ball, before producing a neat finish to cap a performance that will have excited Australia's football punditry.
Cordoba drew Colombia level with a clinical finish of his own with twelve minutes to play, that moment aside, Australia will take great confidence from a performance that suggests there will be plenty more to come from the Young Socceroos in Turkey.
"Friendly games are one thing but tonight was the real pressure situation and we never panicked at all," said Okon. "We played out under pressure, we looked for combinations, something that's a big part of our game.
"We just need to continue that and hopefully in our next game, those sort of opportunities we had tonight, we need to be maybe a little bit more clinical.
"If we can repeat that performance, we know we'll go close to winning any game of football, not really concerned about the opposition, that's what we need to do."
The Qantas Young Socceroos' next challenge is against El Salvador at Rize's New Rize City Stadium on Tuesday, 25 June at 6pm local time (Wednesday, 26 June 1am AEST).
Colombia 1 (Cordoba 78')
Australia 1 (de Silva 46')
Hüseyin Avni Aker Stadium, Trabzon
Colombia 1. Cristian Bonilla (gk), 2. Jherson Vergara, 4. Andres Correa (20. Brayan Perea 64'), 5. Felipe Aguilar, 6. Jose Leudo (7. Harrinson Mojica 59'), 9. Jhon Cordoba, 10. Juan Quintero, 11. Cristian Palomeque, 13. Helibelton Palacios, 14. Sebastian Perez, 17. Andres Renteria (16. Luis Mena 73')
Substitutes 8. Pedro Osorio, 12. Luis Hurtado, 15. Jaine Barreiro, 18. Yair Ibarguen, 19. Miguel Borja, 21. Jair Mosquera
Yellow Cards Palacios 63', Renteria 72', Mena 76'
Australia 1. Paul Izzo (gk), 2. Joshua Brillante, 3. Connor Chapman, 4. Curtis Good, 5. Scott Galloway, 6. Jackson Irvine, 9. Adam Taggart (10. Corey Gameiro 71'), 11. Connor Pain (7. Ryan Williams 82'), 15. Jason Geria, 17. Andrew Hoole, 20. Daniel de Silva (15. Jamie Maclaren 90'+1)
Substitutes 8. Hagi Gligor, 12. Jack Duncan (gk), 13. Reece Caira, 16. David Vrankovic, 18. James Donachie, 19. Ryan Edwards, 21. Anthony Bouzanis (gk)
Yellow Cards Galloway 39'