Australia 2 - Japan 2

Australia has played out a 2-2 draw with Japan, in the first of two Under-17 training matches, in Canberra tonight.

The LG Joeys took time to settle into the game which their opponents began at a cracking pace, and fell behind in the 12th minute when Hinoto Mogi headed in from a corner, putting Japan up 1-0, a scoreline which was taken into the half-time break.

The Australians leveled the scores within two minutes of the resumption however, Massimo Murdocca taking a free kick from twenty metres out, and bending the ball around the wall and into the back of the net.

The LG Joeys then took the lead in the 59th minute, a concerted attack finishing with Matthew Hunter putting in a deep cross, which Matthew Engele was able to head past the outstretched arms of the Japanese keeper.

Japan was able to level the scores in the 88th minute however, a quick counter attack from an Australian corner finishing with second half substitute Shingo Nujime finding the equaliser.

"Both teams played well in patches, but I felt it was a good game overall," said LG Joey coach Ange Postecoglou after the match.

"We were a bit rusty in the first fifteen minutes, and fell away a bit in the last fifteen, but in looking at a few players, we made six substitutions in the second half, and as a result the team cohesion fell away a little.

"Still, we created quite a few chances and really lifted a gear in the second half, and I'll be expecting more of the same from our second game.

"We also let in two disappointing goals, so that's something we'll be working on between now and Wednesday night, but hopefully I'll have a couple of the boys who were unable to play tonight through injury back on the park in time for that game." Postecoglou concluded.

The LG Joeys will undergo a recovery session tomorrow morning, before taking part in a full training session tomorrow afternoon at the AIS, with the second game against Japan set down for Wednesday evening (28th March)

written by Soccer Australia