The future of Australian football looks promising after a come from behind victory against Cote d'Ivoire. It was fighting display as the Joeys (Under 17's) scored two goals in the second half to cancel out Cote d'Ivoire's opener in the 18th minute. Dylan Tombides was the stand out performer for the Joeys, scoring the goal that sealed the victory with 12 minutes remaining and secured three points in a tough group for the Aussie's in the under 17's world cup.
The first half was very sloppy by the Joeys, it looked as if they were nervous early on. A defensive error by Tom King lead to the first goal as he took too long with the ball allowing Souleymane Coulibaly to take the ball and shoot powerfully with his left foot into the bottom corner making it 1 nil to the Ivorians. There were glimpses of what was to come as Corey Brown delivered a brilliant cross later in the half, but Jesse Makarouns could not rise high enough to connect with it. Cote d'Ivoire kept pressing and had numerous chances denied by some great defending by the Joeys. Cote d'Ivoire kept most of the possession in the first half and it showed as they went to the break with the 1 nil advantage still intact.
The second half was much brighter by the Joey's after a few choice words from manager Jan Versleijen no doubt. A substitution was made by Versleijen in order to freshen things up at the back where Jake Monaco was unfortunately exposed numerous times. Monaco came off for Riley Woodcock and it looked a positive move by the manager. But it had little bearing on the first goal of the half as Makarouns played a neat one-two with Hernan Espindola before smashing home a cracking left foot volley from all of 25 yards making it 1 all. The Joeys then looked to be on the front foot as Makarouns - a Perth Glory signing - got more involved after a weak first half. He went in search of another after receiving the ball on the left hand flank, just outside the box. Makarouns sent in a right foot curling effort that curled away from goal after Cote d'Ivoire 'keeper Konate got his fingertips to it. Versleijen decided to make the most decisive change of the match, however, bringing on Teeboy Kamara for the Joeys and he proved to be a handful. He streaked down the left flank numerous times. Kamara then went on a run where he cut inside looking to shoot at goal from just outside the box before a Cote d'Ivoire defender got the ball. He was tackled brilliantly by a Joey and the ball popped out to the right hand side of the box to a lurking Tombides. He didn't need a second invitation as he drew two Cote d'Ivoire defenders before cutting inside onto his left foot and driving home superbly to score what would be the winner. Cote d'Ivoire pressed late on and produced a wonderful save from Adelaide United recruit Paul Izzo. The Joeys can now build on a much better second half in anticipation of their clash with Brazil's under 17's on friday morning (Australian time). Lets home big Sam Allardyce (West Ham manager) is watching because this kid Tombides is a real talent.