Young Socceroos suffer frustrating opening match loss to Vietnam

The Subway Young Socceroos have suffered a frustrating 1-0 defeat against Vietnam U-20 in their opening match of Group B at the AFC U-20 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2023™ in Fergana on Wednesday night (AEDT).  

Australia U-20 found themselves behind inside six minutes when Nguyen Quoc Viet opened the scoring in emphatic fashion and from that point on never quite recovered.

The forward collected the ball and dribbled forward before unleashing a stinging strike outside the box beyond the reach of goalkeeper Jack Warshawsky. 

Despite Trevor Morgan’s side controlling the majority of possession they could not find a way through against a disciplined Vietnam outfit that sat back and absorbed a lot of pressure after taking the lead.

The Aussies fashioned their best opening in the 10th minute via a corner with Gabriel Popovic going inches away from equalising, just heading over Adrian Segecic’s corner.

Australia threatened in wide areas through Raphael Rodrigues on the left and captain Josh Rawlins down the right, but could not create consistent opportunities while the Golden Star Warriors looked to exploit on the counter-attack at every opportunity.

Popovic had another good chance to draw the Young Socceroos level before half time, but his header from Matt Dench’s cross failed to trouble Cao Van Binh.

Warshawsky then did well at his near post to parry Nguyen Thanh Nhan flicked header from a set-piece to close out the first 45. 

On 60 minutes Ngyuen Thanh Nhan was played through and his one-on-one attempt thankfully flashed past the far bottom corner.

Still trailing just past the hour mark, Morgan made a triple substitution introducing Bernardo, Panashe Madanha and Jed Drew to try and inspire a comeback.

While the trio were lively, Vietnam continued to cause problems on the break with Australia unable to generate meaningful chances to restore parity.

The Aussies will now switch their attention to Iran on Saturday night (9:00 PM AEDT) in their second fixture of Group B.

Speaking at his post-match press conference, Trevor Morgan said: “The result didn’t go for us today and so we’re disappointed with the outcome.

“… We entered the box more than double the times than they did and no goal.

“So I think the answer is clear, to capitalise on good football or positive football you need to finish (your chances) and that was missing today.”

Match Details  

Australia U-20: 0
Vietnam U-20: 1 (Quoc Viet 14′) 

Tournament: AFC Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2023 -Group B
Date: Wednesday, 1 March
Venue: Istiqlol Stadium, Fergana
Kick-off: 9:00pm AEDT 
Broadcast: Live and Free on 10 Play

Referee: Chen Hsin Chuan (Chinese Tapei)
Assistant Referees: Chen Hsiao-en (Chinese Tapei), So Kai Man (Hong Kong) 
Fourth Official: Ammar Ebrahim Hasan Mahfoodh (Bahrain)

Australia U-20 XI: 1. Jack Warshawsky (GK), 2. Joshua Rawlins (C), 3. Nectarios Triantis, 4. Chris Donnell 13. (Panashe Madanha 61′), 5. Matthew Dench (22. Jing Reec 90+1′), 6. Rhys Bozinovski (20. Alex Badolato 77′), 8. Alessandro Lopane, 9. Gabriel Popovic, 10. Adrian Segecic, 11. Raphael Rodrigues (7. Bernardo 61′), 17 Aidan Simmons (21. Jed Drew 61′)

Substitutes: 12. James Nieuwenhuizen (GK), 14. Kaelan Majekodunmi, 15. Joseph Forde, 16. Jake Girdwood-Reich, 18. Alexander Robinson (GK), 19. Archie Goodwin, 23. Jonny Yull

Yellow Card: Lopane 26′

Red Card: Nil