The Young Socceroos have concluded the AFC U19 CHAMPIONSHIP 2010 tournament losing in the final to DPR Korea 2-3, when a very uncharacteristic mistake by 'keeper Mark Birighitti let in hat-trick striker Jong Il-gwan just before full-time. Even the earlier brace by Kerem Bulut wasn't enough on the night.
DPR Korea took the lead in the 11th minute courtesy of a solo effort by Jong Il-gwan who beat two defenders with his weaving run into the box, slipping the ball past Aussie 'keeper Mark Birighitti. 1-0
The Young Socceroos equalised in the 25th minute after Marc Warren combined with Tommy Oar on the left, to get him down to the line and then send over a fine cross that found Kerem Bulut who headed in from in the area. 1-1
In the 29th minute Oar picked up the ball 30 metres from goal and made a strong weaving run into the area shrugging off three defenders. Oar's was blocked by the advancing Korean 'keeper Jin Song but it robounded to Kerem Bulut who made no mistake. 1-2
The young Aussies should have gone on with it from here as Tommy Oar and Matthew Leckie stretched their opponent wide with their runs down the flanks, A worried Korean coach Yun Jong Su made all three of his substitutions before 40th minute. Alas with some sloppy passing they let Korea back in.
Jong Il-gwan stormed into the area and hit a shot that defender Dylan McGowan tried to block, but in the process deflected it under the keeper and into the goal. 2-2
Mathew Leckie and Mustafa Amini and Bulut all had good chances early in the half but failed to return their earlier lead.
Distaster just as it looked to be heading for extra time when DPR Korea played a long ball into the box from a free kick just over half-way. Birighitti came well off his line to claim the cross near the edge of the penalty area on the right, but fumbled the attempt dropping the ball at the feet of a greatful Jong Il-gwan who knocked the ball into the vacant goal.
Birighitti had had an up until then faultless tournament and if there was a culprit it was the inability of the Australians, particularly their defence, to maintain possession up the field when challenged by the tear-away counter attack tactics of the Koreans.
Well done though to get to the final of a major AFC tournament and this will be a great learning experience for all the team.
Game at: Zibo Sports Center in Zibo, Shandong Province, China (Kick-off 7:30pm local, 10:30pm AEDT).
Australian line-up: Mark Birighitti (gk), Dylan McGowan, Sam Gallagher, Dan Bowles, Ben Kantarovski (c), Terry Antonis (Rhyan Grant +78'), Mustafa Amini, Tom Oar,
Mathew Leckie, Kerem Bulut (Matthew Fletcher +81'), Marc Warren
Substitutes not used: Kofi Danning, Nikola Stanojevic, Steven Lustica, Dimitrios Petratos, Brendan Hamill, Jason Davidson, Eli Babalj, Ryan Edwards, Matthew Acton (rgk), Alex Pearson
(rgk); Not included - Brendan Hammil, Nikola Stanojevic
Cautions: Mathew Leckie 3', Marc Warren 69', Rhyan Grant 92+'
Coach: Jan Versleijen (Assistant: Alistair Edwards)
Referee: Tan Hai (China)
Crowd: abt 30,000
by Chris Dunkerley 17 October, 2010
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