The Qantas Joeys (U-15) have drawn 2-2 with the Japanese U-15 team in the their final friendly match in Canberra on Sunday.
HHead Coach Jean-Paul de Marigny made two changes to his starting line-up that defeated Japan on Friday afternoon with goalkeeper Lachlan Tibbles making way for fellow New South Welshman Daniel Sedaka, and Jesse Makarounas coming in for striker Josh Da Silva.
The first half saw both teams continue with the challenge that they had set from Friday's match. Opportunities were created, but neither could find the target in the end-to-end action.
The Joeys best chance of the half came just before half-time when Sam Chapple beat a player down the left and crossed to the far post to Jake Monaco whose first time shot went marginally wide of the post.
After the break, Japan broke the deadlock when then they capitalised on a poorly weighted pass at the back which allowed Fumiya Hayakawa to intercept and then beat Daniel Sadaka with a well-placed shot.
Australia came close to equalising just before the hour mark when captain Milos Degeneck took a free kick from just outside the Japan penalty box. Degeneck's shot bounced off the Japanese wall and he was able to pick up the rebound only to see his resulting shot go just wide of the left post.
The equaliser came in the 66th minute following some good build-up play which began from Corey Brown on the left who played in Milos Degeneck in the middle. Degenck then passed to Alex Cerreto on the right who in turn then found Jessie Makarounas inside the Japanese penalty box. Makarounas cut inside his defender and then slammed his shot into the underside of the crossbar and into the net.
The Joeys took the lead in the in the 75th minute when defender Hayden Morton played a long diagonal ball to Jesse Makarounas. Makarounas headed the ball over the Japanese defence which allowed Sahr Musa to get in behind to collect and then beat Japanese keeper Kosuke Nakamure with his one-on-one opportunity.
Japan equalised four minutes later when a free kick from Yusuke Asano found an unmarked Syunsuke Hirasawa at the far post. Hirasawa's shot was parried well by Sedaka, but Hirasawa made no mistake with his second attempt tapping in the rebound from close range.
The Aussies looked to have claimed a winner in the 85 minute when Sahr Musa found the net after capitalising on a fumble by Nakamura, but was adjudged to be offside.
Following the match De Marigny said he was pleased with the overall performance of his team over the two friendly matches.
"Another good solid performance. We defended well, gave the Japanese little time and space on the ball, defused dangerous situations and limited their opportunities," he said.
“The more pleasing aspect was our offensive game with more combination play in the attacking third and again creating plenty of opportunities.
“Although we were very disciplined throughout, a slight lapse at the end, due to a lack of experience, let the result slip.
“But overall, I am very happy with our performance and the boys will definitely improve given more experience at international level."
Qantas Joeys (U-15) line-up: 18.Daniel SADAKA (gk), 2.Jacob WILLIAMS (12.Hayden MORTON 42'), 3.Alex GRANT, 4.Connor CHAPMAN, 5.Corey BROWN, 6.Milos DEGENECK (c), 7.Jake MONACO (13.Alex CERRUTO 56'), 8.Yianni PERKATIS (17.Giancarlo GALLIUFUOCO 56'(20.Abe WHEELHOUSE 84'), 9.Anthony PROIA (15.Sahr MUSA 51'), 10.Jessie MAKAROUNAS, 11.Samuel CHAPPLE.