Australia 5 - Japan 2

The AUSTRALIAN Under-17 soccer team has taken out the second and final training game against the Japan Under-17s, beating the visitors 5-2 in Canberra tonight.

Using the two games as preparation for next week's first leg Final Qualifier for the FIFA Under-17 World Youth Championship, the LG Joeys were looking to improve on the 2-2 draw from the first game, and took just twelve minutes to register their first goal, striker Brett Holman working a quick one-two with captain Carl Valeri in a counter attack, to put the home side ahead.

Japan pulled back on level terms just 9 minutes later, a defensive error leaving a free ball, which was played to Hiroto Mogi for his second goal in two games, before the Australians again pulled in front, Fred Agius capitalizing on a fumble from the goalkeeper after an Anthony Danze lob into the goal-mouth, to put the LG Joeys up 2-1 into the break.

Second half replacement Terry Smith then made it 3-1 in the 55th minute, with Matthew Engele putting the first of his two on the board in the 60th minute, before Japan came back with another goal in the 75th minute for 4-2.

It was Engele who wrapped things up for the Australians in the 79th minute, however, the striker on the end of a long clearance from keeper Nathan Coe, and able to lob the Japanese keeper for a final scoreline of 5-2.

"We were keen to improve on Sunday's performance, and I was really pleased with the display the boys put on tonight, against a quality opponent," said coach Ange Postecoglou after the match.

"We talked about the patches of rustiness from the first game, and that was addressed virtually from the opening whistle, with our opponents put on the back foot.

"Our goals were all good ones, and we could have had a few more, but the two we let in were sloppy, and we'll definitely continue work on eliminating those mistakes.

"It's 'D' day on Friday for Oceania Group 2, but really, I'm more focussed on our own preparations and we're right on track to be ready for any opponent next week." Postecoglou concluded.

The LG Joeys will remain in camp in Canberra for the next week, as preparations continue for next Wednesday's (April 4) first leg final Qualifier.

written by Soccer Australia