Subway Young Socceroos overcome Iran

The Subway Young Socceroos secured their first win of the AFC U20 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2023 after holding on to a 3-2 victory over Iran on Saturday. 

An early goal from Aidan Simmons and Adrian Segecic brace cancelled out strikes from Amirreza Eslamtalab and Alireza Enayatzadeh to boost Australia’s hopes of advancing out of Group B, as they pursue a place at this year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup. 

Iran created the first chance of the game inside a minute, but it would be Trevor Morgan’s side who struck first after seven. 

Adrian Segecic played a delightful through-ball for Jed Drew, who cut it across the face of goal for Aidan Simmons to tap home at the back post. 

Segecic then added a second after 16 minutes, curling home a superb free-kick from an acute angle to cap off a dream start for the Young Soccceroos. 

Australia’s two-goal buffer wouldn’t last for long, however, as Amirreza Eslamtalab volleyed home to pull on back for Iran after 25 minutes. 

With the score 2-1 at the break, Australia wasted no time extending their advantage in the second half. 

Segecic was again the finisher, meeting a precise Alessandro Lopane cut-back to curl a well-struck effort into the bottom corner after 47 minutes. 

Australia continued pressing forward, and Jed Drew saw a strike cleared off the line in the 67th minute, while Segecic and substitute Bernardo both also went close. 

Iran set the match up for a close finish when Alireza Enayatzadeh converted their second with ten minutes to play, but Australia would hold on to secure a valuable three points – their first of the tournament. 

It was what was needed (the result) and I think Iran put up a great fight today,” Australia Head Coach Trevor Morgan said in his post-match press conference. 

“I believe we deserved to prevail, and while not everything was perfect we did enough to win and expect to improve before the next match.” 

The result keeps the Subway Young Socceroos in contention for a top two finish in Group B, which would take them to the tournament’s Quarter Finals. 

It all comes down to Tuesday’s final group fixture against Qatar in Tashkent, which kicks off at 9pm AEDT. All Australian matches will continue to be broadcast live and free on 10 Play.

Match Details  

Australia U-20: 3 (Simmons 8′, Segecic 19′, 46′)
Iran U-20: 2 (Eslamtalab 25′, Enayatzadeh 80′) 

Tournament: AFC Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2023 – Group B
Date: Saturday, 5 March
Venue: Istiqlol Stadium, Fergana
Kick-off: 9:00pm AEDT 
Broadcast: Live and Free on 10 Play

Referee: Muhammad Nazmi Nasaruddin (Malaysia)
Assistant Referees: Mohamad Zairul Bin Khalil Tan (Malaysia), Muhammad Ali (Pakistan)
Fourth Official: Abdullah Jamali (Kuwait) 

Australia U-20 XI: 1. Jack Warshawsky (GK), 2. Joshua Rawlins (C), 3. Nectarios Triantis, 4. Chris Donnell, 8. Alessandro Lopane (20. Alex Badolato 57′), 9. Gabriel Popovic (11. Raphael Rodrigues 94′), 10. Adrian Segecic (16. Jake Girdwood-Reich 79′), 13. Panashe Madanha, 15. Joseph Forde, 17 Aidan Simmons (7. Bernardo 57′), 21. Jed Drew (22. Jing Reec 79′)

Substitutes not used: 5. Matthew Dench, 6. Rhys Bozinovski, 12. James Nieuwenhuizen (GK), 14. Kaelan Majekodunmi, 18. Alexander Robinson (GK), 19. Archie Goodwin, 23. Jonny Yull

Yellow Card: Nil

Red Card: Nil