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Young Socceroos kick off AFF tournament with win

The Qantas Young Socceroos have kicked off the ASEAN Football Federation U19 Youth Championships with a 1-0 win over South Korea in Vietnam.

Dimitrios Petratos netted the game's only goal in the 22nd minute when he held off his defender before slotting past the Korean keeper and in off the far post.

Dylan McGowan, Brendan Hamill, goalkeeper Mark Birighitti and captain Ben Kantarovski starred for the Young Socceroos and the teams overall performance pleased coach Jan Versleijen.

"It is a good start, it took us 20 minutes to settle into the game, which was expected as it was the first time we have played together for a while and with some new players adapting to our way of playing," said Versleijen.

"After the initial 20 minutes, we are all very happy with the way we played, with some really promising phases of play against a strong Korea Republic team.

"In spite of some moments in the game where we were under pressure we still managed to keep a clean sheet, (Mark) Birighitti was fantastic during this tournament last year and today he was also.

"A lot of the players are now with Hyundai A-League clubs and gaining valuable experience, we have also an excellent group of 16 and 17 year olds that are coming through that have benefited or are still benefiting from the AIS environment.

"If not for a late injury, 16-year-old Terry Antonios was also in this squad so the future is looking bright, we just need more games like this."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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