Young Socceroos slump to defeat

Defeat ... Young Socceroos head coach Paul Okon (Getty Images)

Australia has been defeated by Uzbekistan 2-1 in its opening match of the AFF U19 Tournament at Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

A torrential downpour prior to kick-off meant that the match was played on a heavy, slow pitch which was not conducive to free-flowing football.

Both teams started the match testing out the conditions and the first 30 minutes were fairly even. The last 15 minutes of the first half saw the Young Socceroos began start to get on top and they dominated possession.

The opening goal for the Young Socceroos came in the 35th minute when Corey Brown carried the ball out from defence and passed to Terry Antonis in the midfield. Antonis continued towards goal and then hit a cracking right-footed strike, from around 35 metres out, that gave the Uzbekistan goalkeeper Amanov Asilbek no chance of saving, as the ball rocketed into the top right corner of the goal.

The second half saw the Young Socceroos continue to dominate play and create a number of chances but they couldn't convert any to extend their lead which allowed Uzbekistan to stay in the match.

Uzbekistan equalised in the 78th minute when Abdul Aziz made the most of a cross from Muratov Azizbek.

Just when the match seemed destined to be a draw, Uzbekistan scored the winner in the 90th minute when Abdumuminov Jahongir headed in a cross to seal the points.

Young Socceroos head coach Paul Okon was disappointed with the missed chances and final result, but was pleased with parts of his team's performance.

"The players did well on a heavy pitch. We scored a great goal in the first half and created a number of other half chances and in the last 15 minutes of the first half we really got on top of them," he said.

"We started the second half in the same way by dominating the play but we missed a number of chances. That is the lesson we learnt today by not taking our chances against a good opposition."

In the other match of the tournament, Iran defeated host nation Vietnam 2-1.

The Young Socceroos will face Vietnam in their next match of the tournament on Tuesday.

Australia: Nick Munro (gk), Jason Geria, Connor Chapman, Daniel Petkovski, Corey Brown, Reece Caira (Luke O'Dea 84'), Terry Antonis (c), Adam Taggart, Ben Garuccio (Riley Woodcock 54'), Mitch Cooper, Brandon O'Neill (Hagi Gligor 74')

Substitutes Not Used: Paul Izzo (gk), Hayden Morton, David Vrankovic, Jake Barker-Daish

Yellow cards: Adam Taggart 45', Connor Chapman 79'

Source: Football Federation Australia