The Qantas Young Socceroos will have to defeat Japan in Saturday’Äôs final Group A match after they suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of host nation The Netherlands at the FIFA World Youth Championship.
The Netherlands playing in front a buoyant capacity home crowd of nearly 20,000 at the Parkstad Limburg Stadium in Kerkrade were dynamic from the opening whistle with their wide midfielders particular impressive. The Netherlands counting amongst their ranks three players that have already experienced senior international football as well other players with English Premier League clubs.
Australian defender Mark Milligan heading clear from under his crossbar in the 11th minute in an early ominous sign.
Soon after Adam Federici was called into action to make a stunning save from Ryan Babel’Äôs fierce drive. However from the resultant corner Dutch captain Hedwiges Maduro powered home a close-range header to open the scoring.
After the goal the Qantas Young Socceroos came into the game a little more, defending with determination and holding possession for longer periods.
Quincy Owusu Abeyie was a constant menace to the Australian defence with his combination of searing pace and outrageous skill and this combination almost brought about a second goal prior to the interval. The Arsenal player getting in a perfect cross but Collins Johns’Äô free header was directed too close to Federici who made an excellent save allowing Jacob Timpano to clear the danger.
The teams went into the break with the Australians very much still in the hunt however the home team doubled it’Äôs advantage just 15 seconds into the second half. Quincy again caused the damage and his pass into the penalty area was stabbed home by Urby Emanuelsen from 15 metres.
Coach Ange Postecoglou made three substitutions in the space of ten minutes with Chris Tadrosse, Ruben Zadkovich and Jay Lucas all entering the fray, with the latter two making their debut at the tournament.
Newcastle United Jets midfielder Stuart Musialik who impressed in trying circumstances had two goal attempts in quick succession around the hour mark but his efforts went the wrong side of the post.
Federici was called into action to beat away another Quincy strike before a 74th minute world class strike ended the scoring ’Äì Tim Vincken lofting a dropping shot into the top left corner of the goal.
The result ensures that The Netherlands (6 points) have secured first place in the group but second place is up for grabs with Benin (2 points) and Japan and Australia (1 point each) battling for second spot and the last automatic berth.