Young Socceroos share spoils with Colombia
Australia began its 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup campaign with a 1-1 draw against South American champion Colombia at Huseyin Avni Aker Stadium in Trabzon.
The youngest player at the tournament at just 16, Daniel De Silva, gave the Young Socceroos the advantage a minute into the second half.
Colombia equalised on 78 minutes through Jhon Cordoba.
Young Socceroos coach Paul Okon set out his team in a 4-2-3-1 formation and it paid off with the Aussies just shading the possession stakes.
While Colombia took the upper hand early, Australia soon managed to grab a foothold with Joshua Brillante prominent in the centre of midfield.
Colombia playmaker Juan Quintero tested Young Socceroos goalkeeper Paul Izzo on more than one occasion before the dangerous Connor Pain went close to breaking the deadlock on 18 minutes.
He slid in at the far post to meet a Brillante cross from the right but under pressure from his marker his scuffed effort beat Colombia's goalkeeper but was cleared off the line.
Soon after Quintero curled a free-kick from the left edge of the box goalbound but Izzo was on hand to palm the ball over the bar.
After the goalless first half, De Silva took less than a minute after the restart to end the stalemate.
The Perth Glory midfielder latched on to a perfectly weighted Adam Hoole through ball and his first time shot from close range found the net despite Christian Bonilla getting his hands on the shot on its way in.
As the half wore on Colombia became more desperate in attack and after Andres Renteria spurned a fine opening, Izzo kept efforts from Andres Correa and Quintero, again, at bay before the pressure finally paid off.
A ball into the box from Quintero was laid into the feet of Cordoba and after one touch to control he drilled a low shot, with the aid of the slightest deflection, into the bottom right hand corner of the goal.
Young Socceroos: Paul Izzo; Jason Geria, Connor Chapman, Curtis Good, Scott Galloway; Joshua Brillante, Jackson Irvine; Daniel de Silva (Jamie MacLaren 90+1'); Andrew Hoole, Connor Pain (Ryan Williams 82'); Adam Taggart (Corey Gameiro 71').
Next up for Australia is a Group C meeting with El Salvador on Wednesday morning AEST while Colombia faces host nation Turkey.
Turkey tops the group thanks to a 3-0 win over El Salvador with Cenk Sahin scoring twice.
Salih Ucan put Turkey ahead after nine minutes, with Sahin (46, 63) making sure of the victory after the break.
In the Group D opener, Greece scored late on to snatch a 2-1 win over Mexico at Kamil Ocak Stadium in Gaziantep.
Andreas Bouchalakis gave Greece the lead on 16 minutes while Jorge Espericueta replied for Mexico five minutes before the break.
Dimitrios Kolovos scored the winner on 88 minutes.
Paraguay and Mali followed that up by fighting out a 1-1 draw. Mali got off to the perfect start with Adama Niane opening the scoring after just three minutes, but Paraguay equalised four minutes later through Jorge Rojas.