Borrello and Subway Socceroos impress in friendly win over Ecuador

Wanderer Brandon Borrello featured in the Subway Socceroos impressive 3-1 win over Ecuador at CommBank Stadium on Friday night.

Jackson Irvine and Awer Mabil were on target either side of Felix Torres’ header, before Garang Kuol sealed the victory with a simple finish on 84 minutes to become the fourth youngest goalscorer in Socceroos history. 

Graham Arnold handed Aiden O’Neill his international debut with the 24-year-old becoming cap #629 as he featured alongside Keanu Baccus in the double pivot role.

After both sides created half chances it was Australia who struck first with Irvine tapping home, however there was a question of offside on the goal with Mitch Duke appearing to stray ahead of the last defender.

Duke stretched to keep alive Craig Goodwin’s set-piece and the FC St. Pauli midfielder was there to tap home for his eighth goal for his country.

However, the lead only lasted 10 minutes with Torres equalising from Jeremy Sarmiento’s recycled cross with a header across Mat Ryan’s goal.

As the match ebbed and flowed, it was the hosts who reclaimed the advantage when Irvine dispossessed his opponent and the loose ball found Mabil.

The winger duly capitalised, blasting his close-range finish into the top corner to make it 2-1 to score his ninth goal for the Subway Socceroos.

Arnold turned to his bench just beyond the hour mark. Alexander Robertson made his highly anticipated Australia debut and history in the process, becoming the first third-generation Socceroo following his grandfather (Alex Snr) and father (Mark).

Australia was largely in control in the second-half and showed promising attacking forays forward without reward.

Brandon Borrello was also introduced, featuring for the inaugural time since June 2021 to notch his fifth cap.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 24: Brandon Borrello of Australia shoots during the International Friendly match between the Australia Socceroos and Ecuador at CommBank Stadium at CommBank Stadium on March 24, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

In the 78th minute, more changes were implemented as Arnold replaced his two wingers with Goodwin and Mabil coming off Marco Tilio and Garang Kuol.

The latter soon made an instant impact, providing extra insurance with a tap-in following some incisive attacking play which saw Robertson release Borrello, who then fed Aziz Behich and his low cross assisted the 18-year-old.

Connor Metcalfe played out the final minutes when he superseded his club teammate Irvine.