Olyroos suffer narrow 1-0 defeat to Switzerland

The Olyroos have suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to Switzerland U-20 on Saturday morning (AEDT) at the Stadio Comunale Bellinzona in southern Switzerland.

Despite their best efforts to turn around the 1-0 deficit, Tony Vidmar’s side could not break down a resolute Swiss team in wet conditions. 

It was an unfortunate start for the Olyroos as Valmir Matoshi fired Switzerland U-20 ahead within the opening three minutes. The FC Thun midfielder picked up the ball inside the box after Marc Natta’s tackle deflected into his path and comfortably slotted it past Cameron Cook to give the home side the advantage. 

The Olyroos pressed for an equaliser and had a good chance through Jacob Italiano in the 20th minute, who found himself unmarked just outside the box after an impressive burst forward down the right from Cameron Peupion. However, Italiano could not find the target as he narrowly fired wide of the far post. 

14 minutes later, Australia had an opportunity through Alou Kuol, who flung himself at Louis D’Arrigo’s cross from the right but he made contact with the goalkeeper and both required treatment. 

It was a first half with chances few and far between and the Olyroos did well to hold Switzerland U-20s to a one-goal lead but they could not fashion any clear-cut opportunities to get back into the game before the break. 

The Olyroos fielded an unchanged lineup to start the second half and they were under the pump straight away. Seven minutes into the half, Cook was required to produce a fantastic reaction save from Nikolas Muci’s close-range header. 

Just three minutes later, the Olyroos had their best opportunity of the game as Keegan Jelacic found some space down the left and cut in on his right foot, but he could not direct his shot on goalwards as it flashed past the far post. 

Vidmar turned to his bench in the 64th minute in hope of an equaliser as Kai Trewin, Jelacic and Kuol were replaced by Lachlan Broo, Noah Botic and Jahce Novello.

Ten minutes later, Nishan Velupillay and Ryan Teague also replaced Calem Nieuwenhof and Jacob Italiano, who was captaining the side. 

While the substitutes pushed to impact the game and turn around the 1-0 scoreline, the Olyroos could not break down a compact Switzerland U-20 side despite creating some openings towards the end of the second half.