Australia came out winners in this tight game in Group B. Both teams lined up in a 1-4-2-3-1. In the early stages, Australia took control of the game and looked direct in their play, looking to hit the front man with the attacking players finding spaces wider and in behind. Australia scored first in the 8th minute with a cleverly worked goal with a close range finish; followed in the 19th minute by a whipped left footed free kick at the near post to make it 2-0. Iran replied with a goal of their own on the 25th minute. The game became gritty and physical with some heavy challenges leading up to half time. Australia extended their lead very soon after the break to make it 3-1 and looked comfortable in the game until Iran pushed to get back in the game and eventually made it 3-2 in the 80th minute. Australia were quicker and showed slightly more quality throughout, overall they were value for their win.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, rewatch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Australian
- Age: 18
- Date of birth: 01/06/04
- Club: Sydney FC
- Career: Sydney FC
- Position: Winger
- Secondary position: Attacking Midfielder
- Preferred foot: Left
Segecic started this game at the centre of an attacking three midfielders behind a lone striker. Segecic is a left footed player who has great balance and pace when travelling in possession of the ball, this specifically caused the opposition a lot of issues throughout the game. Out of possession, he naturally drifted further to the left hand side of the pitch, which benefitted Australia on many occasions as he linked up with Jed Drew, however it did leave the right side quite exposed and imbalanced. His spacial awareness was impressive though and always looked to occupy space in and around the final third to receive and progress the ball.
Segecic was involved in the first goal, receiving the ball with back to goal around 25 yards out before rolling a defender and sliding a ball through the left attacking half space for his winger to fire the ball across the goal for Simmons to tap in at the far post. Segecic was comfortable in possession throughout the game, he rarely wasted the ball with a lack of control. Transitionally, Segecic is a real asset. His tireless energy in the press and constant involvement around the ball make him a really useful component of the team in this central role.
Segecic is feisty player and despite his short stature he rarely shirks a challenge. He used his body well in and out of possession to win the ball and/or free kicks in important areas. Segecic was animated throughout, celebrating when decisions went in his favour and providing encouragement and direction to his teammates.
He put Australia 2-0 ahead with a low, whipped free kick from wide on the right. The ball made it through the two-man opposition wall before catching the ‘keeper out at his near post. Segecic scored his second just after half time using his weaker right foot, sweeping away a cut back from the edge of the area across the ‘keeper into the far left corner.
After the third goal and a couple of substitutions for Australia, they changed to a 1-4-4-1-1 formation, with Segecic being deployed in a more familiar wide left role, allowing him to stretch the pitch and hold a wide left position. Disregarding his two goals prior to the positional change, he seemed far more comfortable in this role, allowing himself to take the ball and drive directly at the opposition full back. However, his final ball from wide areas could be improved on a consistent basis. Secondly, his pass selection is usually very good, however his range could also be improved. Segecic was substituted in the 77th minute.
Rating – A2
After having a stellar season for Sydney FC’s NPL side last season, he was given a chance early in this A League season, but hasn’t managed to nail down a consistent spot in the starting lineup for a variety of reasons. With this years’ FIFA U20 World Cup approaching, a lot of attacking responsibility will be placed upon Segecic’s shoulders and he can definitely cope with it. A player with real quality who can eventually play at a higher level, if given the chance of regular first team football.
- Nationality: Australian
- Age: 19
- Date of birth: 26/05/03
- Club: Western Sydney Wanderers
- Career: St George FC, Sydney FC
- Position: Attacking Midfielder
- Preferred foot: Right
Aidan Simmons is another interesting and versatile player in this Australia U20 team. Short in stature, he is a player with a lot of energy and industry out of possession. He is another player that is more than happy to get involved in a challenge, whether he’s favourite for the ball or not.
Simmons scored Australia’s first goal of this game, tapping in after making a very good run inside the full back at the far post. However, from this moment on, he appeared to get lost in the first half. The majority of play from Australia was across on the left side of the pitch, leading Simmons to drift looking for the ball and out of position when the opportunity arose. This also caused a problem when the opposition were in possession or transitioned over to Australia’s right side, Simmons’ lack of positional discipline on this occasion would often leave his full back exposed.
In possession Simmons struggled to make headway on a regular occurrence, showing some neat and tidy touches, short passes were mainly used throughout. He did however start the move for Australia’s third. A smooth turn and slide pass into the right channel provided a well timed pass for the full back to cut the ball back for Segecic to sweep home. Simmons looked relatively comfortable using both feet to receive and pass the ball. However, I’d like to see a better representation of his passing range and interplay in future appearances. Simmons was unfortunately substituted in the 57th minute with an injury.
Rating – C
Simmons is one of the players most experienced at senior level in this U20 team, and his versatility has been used regularly for his club side Western Sydney Wanderers. He has recently played left and right full back in the A League, impressing in both positions. This could be a long term move for the better as the national side at this level looks to have a great depth in the attacking positions which I feel would provide more of a threat than Simmons at this point in time.