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2018 AFC U-19 Championships: Socceroos hold Jordan to a draw to enter the knock-out stages

Number 21 Oliver Puflett of Australia is excited after scoring against Jordan (Image Courtesy: FTBL)
Number 21 Oliver Puflett of Australia is excited after scoring against Jordan (Image Courtesy: FTBL)
ANALYST
Modified 26 Oct 2018
News

Ante Milicic made five changes to the Australia squad with Nathaniel Atkinson, Ramy Najjarine, Walter Scott, Dylan Ryan and Apostolos Stamatelopoulos making way for Sebastian Pasquali, John Iredale, Mathieu Cordier, Oliver Puflett and Con Ouzounidis. Anticipating a tight game all Australia needed is a draw to advance to the next stage.

Jamal Ahmad Abu Abed had to start without their suspended defender Yousef Abualjazar. That was the only forced change made by Jordan with Omar Al Zebdieh taking his place.

Group C: Australia drew Jordan 1-1

(AUS: Oliver Puflett 10'; JOR: Omar Al Zebdieh 76’) 

Australia was excellent in the air claiming 62% of the aerial duels. Australia was resolute in defence with 26 tackles and 29 clearances. Starting with a 4-5-1 formation, AFC Ajax's Sebastian Pasquali played a defensive midfield role acting as the supplier while Ben Folami ventured forward along with John Iredale to shift to a 4-1-3-2 style. Melbourne City's James Delianov kept the Socceroos in the hunt pulling off nine excellent saves.

Jordan showed a lot of aggression with 26 attempts on goal, but only nine found the target as ten were off the mark. Jordan employed the standard 4-4-2 formation. But with Shoqi Al-Quz'a and Bassam Daldoom venturing upfront down the wings with Omar Al Zebdieh acting as an attacking midfielder and Mohammad Bani Atieh pressing forward looking for a victory it turned into an attacking 2-4-1-3 formation. 

Oliver Pufflet who plays in the A-League for Western Sydney Wanderers flashed behind Bassam Daldoom at the far post to send a cracking volley into the top of the net from an elegant cross by Ipswich Town striker Ben Folami.

Socceroos delighted after their stern test against Jordan (Image courtesy: AFC)
Socceroos delighted after their stern test against Jordan (Image courtesy: AFC)

Angus Thurgate cut across Hadi Omar Ahmed to fire a high lob into the penalty area. Jordan’s goalie Abdallah Al Fakhori made a mess of it before recovering immediately to save the resultant strikes from Connor Metcalfe and Oliver Puflett.

A superb pass from Omar Al Zebdieh left Mohammad Aburiziq clear in front of goal. Delianov’s strong left hand save, pushed the ball out for a corner.

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A probing cross from Mohammad Bani Atieh was parried away by Delianov before Tate Russell managed to send the ball away for a corner before Omar Al Zebdieh could trash the free ball into the goal.

Delianov came up with a superb low save to his left to keep out Nizar Al Rashdan's low strike from a free-kick.

Mohammad Bani Atieh pulled a ball from the right post to the center of the goal which was smashed into the top left corner by Al-Faisaly's Omar Al Zebdieh past a bewildered Delianov.

Socceroos survived an incredibly tense closing moment as they held on to a draw to enter the quarters after six years following their last semi-final appearance in Emirates 2012. Jordan can hold their head highs after dishing out a stunning display to bow out from the Under-19 AFC Championships.

Group C: South Korea 7, Australia 5, Jordan 4, Vietnam 0.

Published 26 Oct 2018, 16:08 IST
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