ECU under 13′s do Australia Proud

ECU under 13′s do Australia Proud

Posted on June 3, 2012 in 'News'

An outstanding performance from ECU Joondalup under 13’s at the Junior World Masters in Warsaw, Poland, saw them qualify for the quarter finals after finishing second in their group.

The Australian team emerged from the tournament with huge credit in the knowledge that having played six matches they only lost to the two teams that competed in the final – Germany and day one opponents Italy.

In the opening game of the tournament they drew 1-1 with Kazakhstan. After going 1-0 down ECU hit back and the referee gave a penalty kick after Bayley Brown-Montgomery was fouled in the box and midfielder Sven Begiecevic stepped up to coolly slot the ball home off the underside of the crossbar and secure a point.

Next up it was Russia. They looked like a tough opponent on paper although they were coming off a 2-0 opening loss to Italy. Strong performances at the back from Ashwin Jayakumar and Stefan Vranesevic kept the talented Russian attack at bay and James Owen was able to score a goal in the second half for the win.

The third game against one of the pre-tournament favourites, Italy, was an experience the ECU Joondalup boys will never forget against a true powerhouse in world football. They matched Italy across the park and were unfortunate to go down 1-0.

They went into day two knowing that two wins in the final two group matches would secure a quarter final place, and that is exactly what they achieved. A 2-1 win against Mexico was followed by a nail biting 1-0 win against Sweden to book a quarter final place against tournament favourites Germany

Australia kicked off day two against Mexico and took an early 2-0 lead thanks to two goals from forward Ryan Charles. A swirling wind was causing both teams problems, and in the second half the Mexicans got a deserved goal back but Australia had too much for them and held out for a 2-1 win.

That meant it all came down to the final group game against Sweden. Anything other than a win would see Russia progress to the quarter finals with group winners Italy. The tension on the sidelines from ECU Joondalup’s loyal and vocal band of supporters was huge. The match was poised at 0-0 and in spite of having chances Australia weren’t able to make the break through until a goal from Ayden Dragun with just two minutes to go sent the crowd and the players into ecstasy. They were able to hold on for a 1-0 win which secured a quarter final spot and qualification from a very tough group.

Final Group A table:

Team                      Played                    Points

Italy                         5                              15

Australia               5                              10

Russia                     5                              9

Kazakhstan            5                              6

Sweden                  5                              4

Mexico                   5                              0

The draw couldn’t have been tougher with a quarter final spot against an undefeated and well fancied German team, whose academy team from Bundesliga giants Hertha Berlin, had previously beaten the likes of Argentina 5-0. They scored three goals in the first half however a strong second half fight back and a conciliation goal by midfielder Sven Begiecevic meant that Australia could hold their heads high with a 3-1 defeat.

Germany went on to beat Switzerland in the semi-finals and line up a final against Italy who had beaten Brazil in a tense penalty shoot-out in the other semi-final.. In a one sided final Germany deservedly took the crown of Volkswagen Junior World Masters champions with a 5-0 win. The Volkswagen Junior Masters experience is one which the boys from ECU Joondalup will never forget and as Australia’s first ever representatives in the tournament they have set the bar high for all teams that follow in the biggest youth football tournament in the world.

Check out the photos and video’s from the tournament at http://juniormastersaustralia.com.au/Home/FollowTheAction/1