Australia U17 national team pass to Quarter-Final after beated Tajikistan national team with a score of 2-0 in the AFC U17 Asian Cup 2023 at Rajamangala National Stadium, Bangkok.
Both teams came into the tie having a realistic chance of qualifying but it was the Joeys who settled first with Nestory Irankunda setting up Miguel Di Pizio, who made his way into the box before drilling his grounded effort just wide of the left post.
That would ultimately be Australia’s best chance of the half as Tajikistan began to assert themselves in the game, putting their opponents under pressure in the 12th minute with Abubakr Sulaymonov setting up Dzhovidon Khushvakhtov whose shot from the top of the box was deflected over the bar.
Australia had to weather constant threats from Sheravgan Saidov, who missed with a header from close range off a corner, while Sulaymonov, Rabboni Kamolov and Khushvakhtov all wasted their chances from inside the six-yard box.
Despite enjoying the majority of possession, Australia barely troubled the Tajikistan defense with Irankunda, who scored a brace in their 5-3 win over China PR, hitting his first attempt at goal in the 41st minute from distance right into the arm of keeper Mekhrubon Khamidov.
That competitive tension continued into the second half as significant chances were few and far between until the hour mark when Australia finally found a way through in the 64th minute.
Daniel Bennie saw his earlier effort blocked from outside the box but Daniel Bennie was in the right place at the right time when Irankunda burst into the box and forced a save from Khamidov, who deflected the ball into the path of Bennie to tap in from close range.
Tajikistan thought they had found a breakthrough in the 69th minute when Dzhovidon Khushvakhtov played in a delightful cross for Saidov to head into the back of the net but the defender was ruled offside.
Australia doubled their lead in the ninth minute of added time with Nathan Amanatidis storming into the Tajikistan defence on the counter-attack to seal the win and a place in the quarter-finals.
Credit Photo : Lim Keng Hong/SNE Images