Brook and Milanovic play out goalless stalemate against Jordan with Olyroos

Australia U23 have been held in its opening match of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2024™, playing out a 0-0 draw against Jordan at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium.

After a rather cagey first period, the contest became more open after the interval with both sides creating decent opportunities.

Jordan navigated the final 13 minutes – including injury time – with 10 players after a second yellow card but the Aussies could not find a breakthrough and had to settle for a point.

Tony Vidmar named a strong starting XI for the opening clash and it was the Aussies who dominated possession in the early exchanges. 

Western Sydney Wanderers duo Lachlan Brook and Nicolas Milanovic flanked Alou Kuol in attack, while Ryan Teague, Jake Hollman and Rhys Youlley were deployed in midfield. 

In defence, Callum Talbot wore the captain’s armband at right-back and he featured alongside Alexandar Popovic, Jordan Courtney-Perkins and Jacob Farrell – protecting Patrick Beach in goal.

It was Milanovic who had the first genuine sighting at goal when he unleashed a strike from distance which sailed over the Jordan crossbar.

And it was largely the only opportunity with chances few and far between for both sides in the first-half. Beach did pull off an instinctive save to his right, but the flag was raised for offside – though the gloveman wasn’t to know at the time.

Right on the stroke of half-time Brook shot wide from close-range, unable to generate clean contact off a cut-back from Farrell.

Beach was immediately called into action to start the second-half by Aref Haitham’s ferocious strike before the flag was belatedly elevated by the assistant referee.

The Melbourne City shot-stopper impressively then denied substitute Baker Kalbouneh with an outstretched save. Jordan thought they had scored from the ensuing recycled corner but it was swiftly ruled out for offside.

Brook tried his luck from distance and forced the Jordan ‘keeper into a low save and it proved to be his last involvement as Vidmar made a triple substitution, introducing Adrian Segecic, Garang Kuol and Mohamed Toure with 20 minutes to spare.

In the 78th minute, Talbot’s low cross found Toure in the box but he blazed his effort into the stands. 

Moments later, Jordan were reduced to 10 men when skipper Danial Afaneh was showed a second yellow card for impeding A. Kuol on the break as Australia continued to pile on the pressure.

But despite their territorial dominance and registering 13 shots to three, they could only share the spoils.

Starting XI: 12.Patrick Beach (GK); 2.Callum Talbot (C), 3.Alexandar Popovic, 4.Jordan Courtney-Perkins, 5.Jacob Farrell; 6.Ryan Teague, 13.Rhys Youlley (16.Jordi Valadon 90+6′), 10.Jake Hollman (19.Mohamed Toure 70′); 7.Lachlan Brook (21.Adrian Segecic 69′), 9.Alou Kuol, 14.Nicholas Milanovic (22.Garang Kuol 69′)

Substitutes not used: 1.Cameron Cook (GK), 8.Keegan Jelacic, 11.Nishan Velupillay, 15.Jake Girdwood-Reich, 17.Jacob Italiano, 18.Steven Hall (GK), 20.Mark Natta, 23.Lucas Mauragis


Australia 0
Jordan 0
Monday, 15 April 2024
Kick-off: 4pm (local) / 11pm AEST
Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium, Doha

Indonesia v Australia
Thursday, 18 April 2024
Kick-off: 4pm (local) / 11pm AEST
Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium, Doha

Qatar v Australia
Sunday, 21 April 2024
Kick-off: 6:30pm (local) / 1:30am AEST (Monday, 22 April)
Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha