THE QANTAS Young Socceroos suffered another defeat when they were thrashed 4-1 by Portugal U20s in the their latest international friendly played in Lisbon today.
Coach Paul Okon madechanges to the starting lineup that he used in their first match against Portugal three days ago with debuts for Ryan Williams & Liam Jacob in the starting XI, and later in the match, substitutes Alex Baird and Mitch Cooper.
The Young Socceroos started the game well, playing at a high intensity and creating a couple of good chances early on.
But it was Portugal who opened the scoring in the 9th minute when their free kick from just outside box landed in front of keeper Liam Jacob. Jacob’s attempted clearance was picked up by Aladje who then easily tapped in from close range.
Josh Brillante equalised three minutes later when carried the ball through the midfield and then let loose with an amazing strike from outside the box that went into the top left hand corner of the goal.
Portugal took the lead just before the half-time whistle when Michael Pinto hit a “cross” from the left that tricked Liam Jacob and landed in the top right corner of the goal.
Alex Baird replaced Liam Jacob as keeper at half time and was involved in the thick of the action seven minutes into the second half when he came out to try and take the ball from the feet of Portuguese attacker João Carlos.
But Baird but took down Carlos, conceded a penalty and received a yellow card in the process. Tiago Ferreira then calmly converted the penalty to extend Portugal’s lead.
The result was effectively sealed in the 77th minute when Ricardo Pereira hit a long range shot into the top corner of the goal that gave Alex Baird no chance of saving.
Paul Okon was happy with how his team had begun the match, not so pleased with the manner in which the goals were conceded, but overall pleased with what his team had gained from the two matches against Portugal.
“In the first half we played some outstanding football,” said Okon. "We started the game applying a lot of pressure on Portugal and by doing this we created three clear cut chances that we failed to convert.
"Then some individual mistakes and lapses of concentration cost us goals. Portugal didn’t create many opportunities in 90 minutes, yet we gifted them four goals which, at this level, you can’t afford to do.
“All in all, these two games have been very productive for us in terms of how we want to play as well as a learning experience against a world class opponent.”
The Young Socceroos will now start their final preparations for next month’s AFC U19 Championship in the United Arab Emirates.
Portugal U-20 National Team 4 (Aladje 9’, Michael Pinto 45’, Tiago Ferreira 53'(pen), Ricardo Pereira 78')
Qantas Young Socceroos 1 (Josh Brilliante 12’)
Portugal line-up: José Sá (gk), Tomás Babo (Pedro ALMEIDA 80’), Elton Monteiro, Tiago FERREIRA (c) (Venâncio 66’), Michael PINTO, Cafú (Agostinho Cá 46’), Ricardo Esgaio (Ricardo PEREIRA 46’), Tó-Ze (André GOMES 66'), João CARLOS (João MÁRIO 80’), Piqueti (KIKO 80’), Aladje (Betinho 66')
Substitutes not used: Rafael VELOSO (gk)
Yellow cards: Nil
Coach: Edgar Borges.
Qantas Young Socceroos Line-up: Liam JACOB (gk) (Alex BAIRD (gk) 46’), Corey BROWN, Curtis GOOD (c) (Daniel PETKOVSKI 62’), Jason GERIA, Hayden MORTON, Reece CAIRA (Mitchell OXBORROW 62’), Joshua BRILLANTE (Connor CHAPMAN 88’), Ryan EDWARDS (Ben GARUCCIO 62’), Mustafa AMINI (Jamie MACLAREN 70’), Ryan WILLIAMS (Travis COOPER 62’), Corey GAMEIRO (Luke O’DEA 62’)
Substitutes Not Used:, Paul IZZO (gk), Tom KING, Jackson IRVINE, Adam TAGGART
Yellow Cards: Alex Baird 53’
Coach: Paul Okon.