Friday, October 2, 2009

Australia U-20 1-3 Brazil U-20: Young Socceroos Crash Out As Selecao Finish Top

Australia entered their final group game against the already qualified Brazil knowing that they needed a minor miracle to go through; a convincing win, coupled with a win for the Czech Republic against Costa Rica would seem them into third, leaving them with a chance of qualifying as one of the best third placed teams.

Both sides looked lively early on, and it was the Young Socceroos took a surprise lead on 18 minutes. Smashing in a hopeful free-kick from distance, Aaron Mooy was delighted to see Rafael make a complete howler in goal, allowing the ball to crawl underneath him.

Australia were buoyed by the goal, and nearly doubled the lead when Kofi Danning hit the post. However, Brazil were growing in confidence, and Douglas Costa nearly scored an audacious equaliser, rounding the keeper before seeing his backheel dribble just wide.

The Selecao continued to threaten, and it was no surprise when they equalised on 34 minutes, Ciro smashing in an unstoppable shot at the near post. Thus both teams went into the break level, with the Aussies desperately needing some second half goals to keep their faint hopes alive.

Early in the second half, the news that Costa Rica had turned their one goal deficit into a 2-1 lead against the Czechs reached the stadium. The Aussies were clearly demoralised, and they fell behind on 62 minutes, when Douglas Costa got his first of the tournament, connecting with a Maicon cross and smashing home.

Australia were down and out, and their misery was compounded on 81 minutes, when Paulo Henrique cut in from the right and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.

That proved to be the final action of an entertaining game, which saw Brazil cement top spot, while Australia exit the tournament, having failed to pick up a single point for the first time in their history.

Arjun Miglani,

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