GOALMAKER hero Andrew Hoole says Young Socceroos confidence has boosted after their impressive 1-1 draw with South American champions Colombia in their opening U20s World Cup clash.
The Newcastle Jets youngster was a standout performer for the Australians with his relentless attacking raids down the right wing and his probing runs in behind the Colombian defence.
However, the 19-year-old’s most significant contribution came in the form of a delightful through-ball that set up Daniel de Silva to score the opening goal of the match.
“We had a long flight over here from Australia and we’ve had a really good preparation,” Hoole told his club's website. “Considering it was our first hit-out, I thought we did really well as a team.”
Despite surprising many with their impressive performance against one of the tournament favourites, Hoole said he felt the Young Socceroos still had room for improvement in certain aspects of their game.
“Paul Okon has got us playing a very good style and I think everyone enjoys playing like that,” Hoole said. “In some parts of the game, you could see today that we’ve still got a little bit to work on.
“To do it on the training pitch and then try to put it into practice in the game is difficult against strong opponents at the World Cup.
“Considering all that, I thought we did well against Colombia looking to try and play that kind of football.”
The Young Socceroos' next challenge is against El Salvador at the Rize City Stadium on Tuesday, June 25 (1am Wednesday morning Australian time).
El Salvador are coming off a 3-0 loss to tournament hosts Turkey, and a win would put the Young Socceroos in the box seat to qualify for the knockout stage of the tournament.
Hoole added: “El Salvador will be a very tough opponent, so we’ve just got to take it one game at a time and concentrate on ourselves as much as we can."
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