Young Socceroos confident despite loss

June 25, 2013

Coach Paul Okon is confident Australian can qualify for the knockout stages of the Under-20 FIFA World Cup despite a disappointing 2-1 loss to tournament minnows El Salvador.

The Young Socceroos followed up their impressive 1-1 Group C draw with Colombia with a morale-sapping loss to the Central Americans who had never before enjoyed victory at a major FIFA tournament outside of beach soccer.

Midfielder Josh Brillante opened the scoring for Australia in just the ninth minute at the Yeni Sehir Stadium on Tuesday with a stunning strike from 20m out, before Coca and Jose Pena responded for El Salvador before halftime to overwhelm their opposition.

The loss means Australia's tournament hopes rest on the result of their final Group C match against hosts Turkey at Trabzon's Huseyin Avni Aker Stadium on Friday.

"Out attitude was good," Okon said.

"We got an early goal, which we spoke about, and we gave away a cheap goal. Against good opposition at a World Cup you can't do that.

"I thought we had enough possession to come up with something, especially in the second half. We made two defensive mistakes. The cheap first goal to give away was disappointing.

"The effort was superb and although we are disappointed we move on and try and win our last game."

"Unfortunately we kept the lead for only eight minutes ... then it becomes a bit of a battle, when they get on even terms. "The effort and application was there, and we just lacked that ability to find something in the final third. That's what you need when you're chasing the game."

"If we beat Turkey, we get to four points and there's still an opportunity to qualify."

Newcastle Jets midfielder Brillante said it was a disappointing day despite his incredible goal - one of the best of the tournament so far.

"We played some good football so hopefully we can look forward to the match against Turkey and get a result there," he said.

"We had more possession today but in the attacking third we were not as clinical.

"It's great goal to score but I'd rather take the win any day."