Joeys get to turn the ta­bles

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - THE WORLD -

FOUR years af­ter be­ing smashed by even­tual cham­pi­ons Nige­ria at the FIFA Un­der 17 World Cup, Australia’s Joeys pro­duced a spir­ited dis­play to ad­vance to the last 16.

Ger­many-based Noah Botic con­tin­ued his stel­lar tour­na­ment with a brace, while Syd­ney FC keeper Adam Pavlesic held firm in the 2-1 win at Es­ta­dio Bez­er­rao in Brasilia.

It was Australia’s first win against Nige­ria (who won the 2013 and ’15 U17 World Cups) at this level in seven at­tempts.

While the Joeys were un­der siege early, the front three of Botic, Caleb Watts and Tris­tan Ham­mond caused huge is­sues for Nige­ria and com­bined to open the scor­ing. Sport­ing Lis­bon’s Ham­mond beat sev­eral play­ers down the left us­ing clever trick­ery be­fore cross­ing for well po­si­tioned Botic to tap in the opener.

Nige­ria’s Ukeme Olawale equalised just eight min­utes af­ter the Joeys’ opener but the Joeys kept push­ing, know­ing a win was nec­es­sary to ad­vance to the knockout phase.

Southamp­ton’s Watts won the penalty af­ter a piercing run into the box and a com­posed Botic stepped up, waited for the keeper to com­mit be­fore slot­ting home.

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