The Olyroos have beaten Vietnam 2-0 to keep alive their Olympic hopes at the AFC U-23 Championship in Doha

Goals to Brisbane Roar’s James Donachie and Jamie Maclaren have helped the Olyroos defeat a feisty Vietnam 2-0 in their second group game at the AFC U-23 Championships in Doha overnight.

After losing their first game to UAE 1-0 last week, the win was a boost for Australia’s chances of qualifying through the group in a tournament that doubles as Rio 2016 qualifiers.

Overall, Vietnam showed lots of enthusiasm but lacked composure and a cutting edge, and had their excellent goalkeeper Minh Long to thank for making at least three goal-saving stops.

Australia for their part were more composed in possession, pressed well, particularly in the second half, and made good use of their dominance at set pieces.

Goals

Australia: Donachie 2’ 1-0

A corner wasn’t taken care of properly and the half headed clearance was met by the big Roar defenderwho was given time to smash the ball home from just outside the six-yard box.

Australia: Maclaren 60’ 2-0

No surprise that Vietnam couldn’t defend a corner and Maclaren was on hand to make it two.

First half

· It was a frenetic opening 45 minutes with Vietnam seemingly able to play at just one speed: 100 miles an hour.

· After Donachie’s goal it should’ve been two just minutes later when Gersbach’s set-piece was headed back onto the post by a Vietnamese defender as the keeper flapped at it.

· On 26 minutes the Vietnamese did open up the Australian defence with a neat give and go but the cutting edge was missing and Australia were able to clear witout any danger.

· Then two fantastic chances went begging for the Green and Gold. First to Hoole, who’s low shot was parried away by keeper Minh Long, who denied Maclaren shortly after with a superb save from right in front.

· The half ended with tempers boiling over but with the Aussies taking an all-important lead into the break.

Second half

· A one-on-one saw Minh Long deny Maclaren once again as Australia started the second half in confident mood.

· Donachie could’ve made it two after Long parried and the Roar man flicked the ball wide minutes later as the Aussies pressed for a second.

· From a corner, a second goal did eventuate, and it was the man who came so close, Maclaren, with the goal.

· Thomas Deng’s ankle injury forced him off with 15 minutes to go. A blow as he’d been so composed against the feisty Vietnamese.

· A sweeping build up came close to a third but Amini was denied by some desperate defending.

· Jack Duncan made a superb save in the final minutes to tip the ball over and deny Vietnam from a set piece.

Australia now plays Jordan in their final group game. In the other game played after Australia’s match, Jordan met UAE.

Australia’s starting XI

Duncan (GK), Geria, Donachie, Hoole (Sotirio), Edwards, Maclaren, Amini (Antonis), O’Neill, Gersbach, Borreollo, Deng (Gallifuoco)

Yellow cards: Amini, Sotirio

Red cards:

Venue: Grand Hamad Stadium, Doha

Conditions: 22 degrees.

Football Federation Australia

Olyroos’ mojo is back: James Donachie

James Donachie celebrates with teammates after netting the opener inside the first two minutes.

He smashed home a crucial goal to help dispose of Vietnam but defender James Donachie says the Olyroos’ defensive performance gave him more satisfaction as the team’s confidence soars ahead of the do-or-die clash with Jordan.

The Olyroos bounced back to form at the AFC  U-23 Championships on Monday morning (AEDT) with a vital 2-0 win over Vietnam in Doha.

Donachie’s early strike in just the second minute gave Aurelio Vidmar’s side the perfect start before they sealed the win over a stubborn Vietnam with Jamie Maclaren on target on the hour mark.

 

After a first-up loss to UAE, it was a massive three points – and clean sheet for the Olyroos.

“That’s what I play for to keep the nils,” Donachie told FFA TV.

“After the first game I was a bit disappointed but [now] very happy and very confident going into the last game against Jordan we can do it again.

“It was a much better start than our first game, all the nerves and jitters were out and the boys looked really sharp today,” the Brisbane Roar defender added.

The important win for the young Aussies, coupled with Jordan’s 0-0 draw with UAE, means the Olyroos face a must-win clash against Jordan in the final group game to stay alive in their quest to qualify for the Rio Olympic Games.

“After watching the boys play tonight I’m definitely confident we have goals in us,” Donachie said.

“If we can keep a tight unit at the back then I think we can go in with a confident head we can take three point away.”

Knowing they had to win against Vietnam, Donachie’s second-minute strike eased some nerves.

It was a fantastic finish, lashing the ball home from just outside the six-yard box after the Vietnam defence failed to clear a corner.

“It just dropped in front of me and I just had a crack at it and it ended up going in,” Donachie said of his rare goal.

“It’s always nice to get a start like that in a match, it gives you a bit of confidence going in.

“After the first game the boys were down but going into this game the boys were back at it and wanting to win again. It’s always better after a win, spirits are high again,” he added.

Football Federation Australia

Aussies abroad: Socceroos stars shine in various countries

Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan in training with Spanish club Valencia.

Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan returned to Valencia’s starting line-up on Sunday, pulling off a stunning triple-save as his team drew 2-2 with Rayo Vallecano.

Ryan had not started in La Liga since November, sitting on the bench for six straight matches as Juame Domenech took the gloves for former coach Nuno and his replacement Gary Neville.

But after shining in the Copa del Rey earlier this month as Valencia defeated Granada 7-0 on aggregate, Ryan was back in goals in the Spanish top tier for his team’s home clash with Vallecano.

The match started badly for Ryan, with Josabed Sanchez volleying Vallecano in front in the 15th minute.

But the Australian was involved in Valencia’s equaliser in the 55th minute, making three saves in succession before the hosts scored on the counter-attack.

Ryan made a diving stop to deny a long-range effort, smothered the follow-up shot and then gathered himself for a third save before Valencia’s clearance found Alvaro Negredo, who produced a stunning strike from halfway to score.

Vallecano were in front again after 68 minutes – Ryan had little chance to save Diego Llorente’s half-volley from a corner – but Neville’s men would eventually claim a point thanks to Paco Alcacer’s 88th-minute goal.

In other Aussies Abroad action on Sunday, in Turkey, Aziz Behich completed a full shift in Bursaspor’s 4-2 triumph against Trabzonspor and fellow Socceroos left-back Brad Smith sat on the bench in Liverpool’s 1-0 loss to Manchester United in the Premier League.

UK

On Saturday, Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo earned the praise of manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink following Queens Park Rangers’ emphatic 3-0 win over Rotherham in the Championship.

Hasselbaink, appointed in December to replace interim boss Neil Warnock, hailed Luongo’s willingness to the “dirty stuff” in an impressive 90-minute performance at New York Stadium.

The 23-year-old enjoyed a rare starting appearance for QPR – his first under Hasselbaink – and flourished in central midfield, setting up Matt Phillips for his side’s second goal.

“He [Luongo] is somebody who likes to get on the ball, who can influence strikers and who can pick a pass,” Hasselbaink told westlondonsport.com

“On the other hand, he needed to do the dirty stuff – and he did. That was pleasing to see.”

Elsewhere, Bailey Wright played a full match as Preston North End secured a 1-1 draw away to Ipswich Town.

Tommy Oar was an unused substitute for Ipswich and Neil Kilkenny sat on the bench for Preston.

On-loan Rhys Williams continued his comeback from injury with the defender getting through 59 minutes in Charlton Athletic’s 6-0 loss away to Hull City.

In League One, James Meredith played 90 minutes and set up the winner as Bradford City edged Oldham Athletic 1-0 at home.

The full-back whipped in a cross to the back post, which was met by midfielder Tony McMahon who buried it into the far corner just five minutes into the second half.

Elsewhere, Shane Cansdell-Sherriff played a full match in Burton Albion’s 2-0 win away to Coventry City, while Chris Herd was substituted at half-time in Chesterfield’s 3-1 loss to Wigan Athletic.

Goalkeeper Alex Cisak completed 90 minutes as Leyton Orient lost 3-1 to Exeter City in League Two.

Adam Federici (AFC Bournemouth), Mark Schwarzer (Leicester City), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace), Jason Davidson (Huddersfield Town) and Shane Lowry (Birmingham City) sat on the bench for their respective English clubs.

North of the border, Jackson Irvine came on at half-time as Ross County lost 3-2 at home to Aberdeen, while Scott McDonald had a tough day at the office as Motherwell were thumped 6-0 by Hearts.

On Friday, Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic cruised past Dundee United 4-1 with Tom Rogic playing 59 minutes for the victors.

Ryan McGowan played a full game for Dundee United.

Europe

Kerem Bulut made his first league appearance for Iraklis since December on Saturday, coming off after 76 minutes in a 1-1 draw at Levadiakos.

In Netherlands, Rostyn Griffiths was withdrawn in the final 20 minutes as Roda JC lost 1-0 at home to AZ Alkmaar, with Daniel De Silva coming off the bench in the 84th minute.

On Friday, Adam Sarota made his debut in the Dutch second tier, playing 90 minutes in Go Ahead Eagles’ 2-1 loss to Jong PSV.

Chris Ikonomidis missed out on a debut in Serie B as he began his loan spell at Salernitana, with the winger’s new club losing 1-0 at Avellino.

Football Federation Australia

Olyroos confident ahead of do-or-die clash with Jordan

Maclaren doubles Olyroos advantage

Jamie Maclaren has no doubt the Olyroos can handle the pressure of a must-win final group game against Jordan after keeping their Rio Olympics dream alive with a win over Vietnam overnight.

Goals in either half to Brisbane Roar duo James Donachie and Maclaren guided the Olyroos to a 2-0 win at the AFC U-23 championships on Monday morning (AEDT).

 

The tournament doubles as Rio qualifiers with the top three nations only progressing to the Olympics in August.

With UAE and Jordan playing out a goalless draw it means Aurelio Vidmar’s side must win their final group match on Thursday to stay alive.

When asked if the young side could deal with the pressure of a must-win clash against Jordan, Maclaren told FFA TV: “It already has tonight. You saw after the game how happy we were.

“We know we’re only half way there. It was good to get the UAE game out of the system and focus on getting three points against Jordan which is definitely what we need.

“We’re looking forward to it.

“Now we’re in a position where we know what we have to do, three points is a must against Jordan. All the boys are full of confidence and it’s a good group to be in,” the NAB Young Footballer of the Year nominee added.

“We said it as a team, the main thing is to create chances,” Maclaren said.

“We were pretty disappointed how we only created a few chances against UAE and it was important for us to create a lot because we’re an attacking team.

“For us to get chances, I think we had 10-plus shots tonight, it’s a great thing and to walk away with a clean sheet as well, we’re happy.”

Maclaren, who has been in sensational form in the Hyundai A-League with Roar, capped another all-action display with the match-sealing goal on the hour mark.

Vietnam failed to deal with a corner, with Maclaren making no mistake after a smart layoff by Andrew Hoole.

“It was a pretty funny one from the set piece. It hit [Donachie], rebounded to Hooley and I just got in a position where he could cut it back to me,” Maclaren said of his goal.

“I saw the ‘keeper was way off his line, it was a great cut back by Hooley and thankfully it went in the back of the net.

“I had a similar chance in the first half so it was good to get one over him [their keeper]”.

While two goals was enough to see off the feisty Vietnamese, the Olyroos really could have racked up a bigger scoreline if not for some wasteful finishing and superb saves from goalkeeper Minh Long.

Football Federation Australia

Details confirmed for FOXTEL NYL Grand Final

A ground level view of Central Coast Stadium.

 

The FOXTEL National Youth League 2016 Grand Final between Adelaide United and Sydney FC will be played as a double header with the Hyundai A-League encounter between Central Coast Mariners and Western Sydney Wanderers FC on Saturday 23 January 2016 at Central Coast Stadium, Football Federation Australia has announced.

Sydney FC booked their place in the FOXTEL National Youth League 2016 Grand Final as winners of Conference B after defeating FFA Centre of Excellence 3-2 yesterday.

Adelaide United wrapped up top spot in Conference A last weekend to secure its place in the decider.

The match, which will be shown LIVE on FOX SPORTS 505, is the second time Adelaide United and Sydney FC will feature in a FOXTEL National Youth League decider after the Sky Blues defeated the Reds 2-0 to be crowned champions in the 2008/09 season.

“Confirmation that FOX SPORTS will broadcast the National Youth League Grand Final as a double header with Saturday’s Hyundai A-League fixture at Central Coast Stadium is fantastic news,” said Head of the Hyundai A-League Damien de Bohun.

“The National Youth League showcases some of Australia’s best young talent and I’m sure the players will relish the opportunity to put their skills on display to a televised audience.

“The National Youth League has been hotly contested this season and I have no doubt Saturday’s Grand Final will be a fitting finale.”

A big crowd is expected at Central Coast Stadium for the Hyundai A-League match between the Central Coast Mariners and Western Sydney Wanderers FC, so fans wanting to attend the FOXTEL National Youth League 2016 Grand Final are urged to pre-purchase their tickets.

Gates at Central Coast Stadium will open at 3.45pm with the FOXTEL National Youth League 2016 Grand Final to kick-off at 4pm AEDT.

Click here for ticket details.

MATCH DETAILS

FOXTEL National Youth League Grand Final

Adelaide United v Sydney FC

Saturday 23 January 2016

Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

Kick-Off 4pm AEDT (gates open 3.45pm)

The match will be LIVE on FOX SPORTS 505

 

Football Federation Australia

Hyundai A-League 2015/2016 Round 15 Team of the Week

Hyundai A-League logo.svg

Vedran Janjetovic (Sydney FC)

Scott Jamieson (Western Sydney Wanderers)

Matthew Jurman (Sydney FC)

Jacques Faty (Sydney FC)

Stefan Nigro (Melbourne Victory)

Aaron Mooy (Melbourne City)

Diego Castro (Perth Glory)

David Carney – (Newcastle Jets)

Craig Goodwin – (Adelaide United)

Kosta Barbarouses (Melbourne Victory)

Fahid Ben Khalfallah (Melbourne Victory)Coach of the round: Kevin Muscat (Melbourne Victory)

Football Federation Australia