Young Roos fall to England

Versleijen ... Australia's men's youth team has work to do with his young charges (Getty)

Australia's under-20 team went down 1-0 to England in an unofficial 3x30 minute training match in Denver, Colorado.

The match was played at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park training facility, the home of the Colorado Rapids MLS team, with the temperature at kick-off a blistering 34 degrees.

The hot conditions also meant that drink breaks were taken midway through each third to allow the players and match officials to rehydrate.

Young Socceroos coach Jan Versleijen made a number of changes to the starting line-up compared to the one he used against Korea Republic two days earlier, including starting Ben Kantarovski in midfield for the first time since recovering from his knee injury.

The first third didn’t reach any great heights with both teams feeling each other out and trying to find ways through each other's defence.

Mustafa Amini had the Young Socceroos' best chance just before the break with a neat shot from the edge of the box which was tipped over the bar by the English goalkeeper.

Five minutes into the second third, Bernie Ibini-Isei had two close-range shots blocked within a minute of each other but it was England that was to score the only goal of the game just after the halfway mark.

Striker Saido Berahino made the most of a cut-back from the goal-line which he slotted home well from within the six-yard box.

As was seen in the match against the Koreans Republic, Versleijen made a number of changes for the final third of the match including a completely different defence.

England had chances to extend their lead but goalkeeper Mark Birighitti made a couple of telling saves.

Substitute Tommy Oar had a good chance to equalise on 77 minutes after receiving a long pass from Terry Antonis.

Oar spotted the English keeper off his line and chanced his hand at a shot from about 30 metres that hit the crossbar and bounced out of play.

Versleijen later said he was not concerned with the final score but was happy with the overall performance.

"You could see today that we definitely made a step forward from the Korean match in terms of our fitness and understanding between the players," said Versleijen.

"It is still difficult for the players to play a full 90 minutes at a high intensity under these conditions (altitude and heat) at the moment and that’s why we had to make a number of changes throughout the match.

'The changes in the line-up also allowed me to see what combinations work better than others.

"There’s still some time to work on a few things, but I’m happy with what we achieved from the two training matches and I’m confident that we will be ready for our first match in Colombia."

The Young Socceroos will continue to train in Denver for the next few days before heading to Colombia early next week to finalise their preparations for the World Youth Cup.

Australia will play Ecuador, Costa Rica and Spain.

Source: Football Federation Australia