Hearts youngster Dylan McGowan again got on the scoresheet for the Australian U20 side in the AFC U19 Championship qualifiers.
In their fifth and final qualifying match, the Young Socceroos went down 3-2 to Japan in the dead rubber match after both sides had booked their place in the 2010 tournament.
McGowan opened the scoring in the 40th minute when he headed home from a Kliment Taseski corner that gave Japan goalkeeper Nakamura Hayato no chance at all.
However, Japan managed to hit back twice in two minutes through Nagai Rao and Kikuchi Daisuke just moments after half-time before Brisbane Roar’s Tommy Oar restored sanity and made it 2-2 in the 67th minute.
The score remained that way until injury time when Japan’s Rao hit a nice shot home after the ball deflected off a Socceroos defender to give Japan the win.
Despite the loss, Australia coach Jan Versleijen was happy with the his side’s overall performance at the qualifying tournament.
“Unfortunately a loss of concentration late allowed Japan to get the late winner and these are the small differences which can have an effect in international football,” he said.
“This match (against Japan) was most interesting because it is an indicator for the standard of opposition that will face next year at the AFC U-19 Championship.
“As for the tournament overall, it was very beneficial for us to not just get the results but also to get valuable experience together as a team during the two and a half weeks,” concluded Versleijen.