Portugal downs Young Socceroos

Australia's Young Socceroos have been defeated 4-1 by Portugal Under-20 in an international friendly played in Lisbon.

Young Socceroos head coach Paul Okon made a number of changes to the starting line-up that he used in the first match against Portugal three days ago. Making their debuts for the Young Socceroos were Ryan Williams and Liam Jacob in the starting XI, and later in the match, substitutes Alex Baird and Mitch Cooper.

The Young Socceroos started the game well, playing at a high intensity and creating a couple of good chances early on.

But it was Portugal which opened the scoring in the ninth minute when a free-kick from just outside the box landed in front of Young Socceroos goalkeeper Jacob. Jacob's attempted clearance was picked up by Aladje who then easily tapped in from close range.

Josh Brillante equalised for the Young Socceroos three minutes later when he carried the ball through the midfield and then let loose with a fine strike from outside the box that went into the top left-hand corner of the goal.

Portugal took the lead just before half-time when Michael Pinto hit a cross from the left that tricked Jacob and landed in the top-right corner of the goal.

Baird replaced Jacob in goal at half-time and was involved in the thick of the action seven minutes into the second half when he came out to try and take the ball from the feet of Portuguese attacker Joao Carlos. Unfortunately in doing so, Baird took down Carlos, conceded a penalty and received a yellow card in the process. Tiago Ferreira then calmly converted the penalty to extend Portugal's lead.

The result was effectively sealed in the 77th minute when Ricardo Pereira hit a long-range shot into the top corner of the goal that gave Baird no chance of saving.

Okon was happy with how his team had begun the match, not so pleased with the manner in which the goals were conceded, but overall pleased with what his team had gained from the two matches against Portugal.

"In the first half we played some outstanding football. We started the game applying a lot of pressure on Portugal and by doing this we created three clear cut chances that we failed to convert. Then some individual mistakes and lapses of concentration cost us goals," said Okon.

"Portugal didn't create many opportunities in 90 minutes, yet we gifted them four goals which, at this level, you can't afford to do.

"All in all, these two games have been very productive for us in terms of how we want to play as well as a learning experience against a world class opponent."

The Young Socceroos will now start their final preparations for next month's AFC U-19 Championship which will be held in the United Arab Emirates.

Young Socceroos: Liam JACOB (gk) (Alex BAIRD (gk) 46'), Corey BROWN, Curtis GOOD (c) (Daniel PETKOVSKI 62'), Jason GERIA, Hayden MORTON, Reece CAIRA (Mitchell OXBORROW 62'), Joshua BRILLANTE (Connor CHAPMAN 88'), Ryan EDWARDS (Ben GARUCCIO 62'), Mustafa AMINI (Jamie MACLAREN 70'), Ryan WILLIAMS (Travis COOPER 62'), Corey GAMEIRO (Luke O'DEA 62')

Yellow Cards: Alex Baird 53'

Source: Football Federation Australia