Australia secure third place at the IFA Under 14s Boys World Cup after beating the Republic of China in a high-scoring third place play-off. Jaye Pinches gave the Aussies an early lead but the Republic of China levelled after a freak own goal by Matthew Tindale in the Australia goal.
John McKenna and Nathan Price put Australia back in front and despite Anthony Huang getting one back, Zak Mohring scored twice to give Australia a cushion at half time despite a late strike from Yung-Chun Huang. Tayden Lyall opened the scoring in the second half for Australia before Huang got his second for the Republic of China.
Mohring, Lyall and a Huang own goal pushed Australia further clear with Alexander Robinson and Jake Almond getting in on the act. Price got his second before Anthony got the last cheer for the Republic of China in a thrilling match.
Australia started the match brightly and were rewarded after two minutes when Pinches snuck the ball under the goalkeeper from an acute angle to give Australia a very early lead.
Pinches went close to a second but was denied by the goalkeeper as Australia looked to race out of sight. On seven minutes, they were pegged back. The strike from Huang hit the left hand post before bouncing back and hitting the back of Tindale. The ball sneaked over the line despite the best efforts of the Australian goalkeeper.
The Republic of China’s goal sparked a response from Australia as Price was denied but a minute later, the Aussies restored their lead. McKenna intercepted the ball in the middle of the pitch and fired the ball past the goalkeeper.
The lead was doubled three minutes later as Price finished off a lovely team move. The goals kept coming as less than a minute later, the Republic of China halved the deficit. Anthony powering the ball past the keeper to show the Republic of China were up for the fight.
The goals dried up for the next seven minutes until Mohring drilled the ball with his right foot into the far bottom corner out of the keepers reach to restore their two goal advantage.
The Republic of China continued to create chances to try and get back into the game the Australian players were throwing their bodies in the way and were rewarded when Mohring got his second goal of match as he fired the ball into the top left-hand corner for Australia’s fifth.
The Republic of China gave themselves some hope going into half time as Huang volleyed home after an original shot was pushed onto the bar and the Republic of China’s number eight made no mistake with the rebound.
Half time: Australia 5 – 3 Republic of China
Australia started the second half like they did the first but it took a wee bit longer to open the scoring in the half as Lyall finished well six minutes into the half.
Australia almost made it seven but Price’s flick clipped the post and away from danger. This let of for the Republic of China was taken advantage of as they broke and Huang coolly finished the move off.
Any hopes of a comeback was well and truly crushed with three goals in four minutes for Australia. Mohring found some pace in front of goal and tapped the ball into the net before Lyall got his second of the match as he linked up well with Mohring before chipping the ball over the keeper.
The Republic of China almost got one back but Lyall slide in to clear the ball off the line. Australia broke and Lyall’s effort as inadvertently put into his own net by Huang to cap off a terrific four minute spell for Australia.
Robinson got Australia into double figures as he finished at the second attempt after a good chest down by Price created the opportunity. That wasn’t to be the end of the goals for Australia as Almond finished off a lovely sweeping move before he got a second for himself four minutes later as he placed the ball high into the net.
The captain Price broke and after a one-two with the defender, placed the ball underneath the goalkeeper but it was the Republic of China that got the last goal as Anthony tapped the ball home after a quick break.
Australia got their revenge for their opening day defeat and secured a terrific third place at this years competition.
Full time: Australia 13 – 5 Republic of China
Man of the match:
Australia – So many to choose from and Zac Mohring deserves a special mention, but on his birthday Nathan Price put in a classy performance to get the award.
Republic of China – Anthony Huang almost looked a threat and scored twice
Australia – The lovely sweeping move resulting in Jake Almond powering the ball into the roof of the net
Republic of China – The terrific finish from Yung-Chun Huang as he volleyed home just before half time