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Young Roos draw with Mariners

7 July 2011-SBS

Australia's U-20 side and Central Coast Mariners have produced a 1-1 draw in the national team's final hit out on Australian soil before the FIFA U-20 World Cup squad is announced.

After a scoreless first half with limited scoring opportunities, Young Socceroos coach Jan Versleijen made two changes, with Matt Acton replacing Mark Birighitti in goal and Corey Gameiro coming on for Matthew Fletcher.

Central Coast Mariners took the lead in the 54th minute after Trent Sainsbury fouled Michael Baird in the box.

Baird stepped up to take the resulting penalty, blasting his shot into the middle of the goal as Acton dived left.

The Young Socceroos equalized two minutes later after capitalizing on a Mariners turn-over in their own defensive third.

Terry Antonis intercepted the errant pass and laid off to fellow midfielder Dimitrios Petratos, who hit a stinging right foot shot into the far corner of the goal.

Versleijen was very happy with the match and the week-long training camp as a whole.

"Today we played a game against good opposition because that is what we need before we go off to a World Cup," Versleijen said.

"This is the first game we have had together since returning from our tour of Holland about six weeks ago, where we had an international tournament playing against South American, North American and European top teams and this is a good lead-up before we head to Denver for altitude training.

"The players will now leave camp and over the next couple of days I will consult with the coaching, technical and medical staff to make the final selection of the squad that will go to the World Cup,” Versleijen said.

Versleijen will name his final squad early next week before departing for a pre-tournament camp in Denver on Saturday July 16, where his team will play two friendly matches against Korea Republic and England prior to arriving in Colombia to finalise preparations for the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

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