Acton, Bowles impress in Young Socceroos victory

Brisbane Roar young guns Matt Acton and Daniel Bowles have helped the Qantas Young Socceroos advance to the Asean Football Federation U-19 Youth Championships final in Vietnam.

Brisbane Roar young guns Matt Acton and Daniel Bowles have helped the Qantas Young Socceroos advance to the Asean Football Federation U-19 Youth Championships final in Vietnam.

Acton - featuring for the first time in the tournament - and Bowles both played a full 90 minutes as the squad cruised to a 4-1 victory over host nation Vietnam.

One of the rising stars of the youth setup, Acton had an outstanding performance, leaving head coach Jan Versleijen with a goalkeeping selection headache ahead of the final.

Already guaranteed a place in the final, the adventurous Australians were quick out of the gate and were two goals to the good within 15 minutes courtesy of Mustafa Amini and Mathew Leckie.

And Ben Halloran finished off an exceptional passing movement to send the side into the half-time break with a 3-0 buffer.

Needing victory for any chance to make the final, Vietnam finally broke through the Australian defence as Nguyen Van Thanh capitalised on a deflected free-kick.

But the Qantas Young Socceroos quickly reinforced their superiority as Eli Babalj powered home a perfect Ryan Edwards cross.

The victory ensures the Australian will meet defending champions Thailand in the final on July 30, a replay of last year-s enthralling encounter won by the Thais on penalties.

Still smarting from last year-s loss, Australian coach Versleijen said his side would be out for redemption as they seek their second AFF Youth crown in three years.

"We won in 2008 from a penalty shoot out against South Korea, last year we lost to Thailand in a penalty shootout after we were locked at 2 all after extra time, we will be out for revenge this time around,” said Versleijen.

“It is our third final and today against Vietnam, we rested several of our regular players in anticipation of the match against Thailand (in two days).”

Australia      4 (Mustafa Amini 1-, Mathew Leckie 14-, Benjamin Halloran 40-, Eli Babalj 73-) Vietnam      1 (Nguyen Van Thanh 57-)

Qantas Young Socceroos starting line-up: 18. Matthew Acton (GK), 2. Nikola Stanojevic, 4. Sam Gallagher, 6. Benjamin Kantarovski (c), 7. Mathew Leckie (20. Ryan Edwards 45-), 8. Steven Lustica, 11. Benjamin Halloran, 13. Mustafa Amini (17. Theodore Markelis 45-), 14. Matthew Fletcher (9. Eli Babalj 60-), 16. Daniel Bowles, 19. Dylan McGowan

Substitutes not used: 1. Mark Birighitti (GK), 3. Brendan Hamill, 5. Kliment Taseski, 10. Christopher Bush, 12. Dimitrios Petratos, 15. Kamal Ibrahim.

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