The Subway Joeys have opened their AFC U-17 Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers in emphatic fashion, defeating North Mariana Islands 23-0 at Shepparton Sport City Precinct on Wednesday night.
In a strong performance from Brad Maloney’s front three, Nestory Irankunda scored four in a Player of the Match-winning performance, while Mitchell Glasson grabbed a quadruple and Max Hately registered a hat-trick.
The win saw the Subway Joeys sit on top of Group G with one matchday under their belt, accruing some valuable goal difference after China overcame Cambodia 9-0 in the day’s earlier fixture.
Adelaide United’s Irankunda, who already has three A-League Men’s goals to his name, kicked off proceedings with a goal in less than two minutes.
Four minutes later, the winger was involved again as his pass was deflected into the back of the net for Australia’s second.
However was no doubt about Australia’s third, as Irankunda unleashed a powerful strike from long range that sailed into the back of the net.
Striker Max Hately found himself on the end of plenty of early chances, and finally grabbed his first after 28 minutes as his shot squeezed under the goalkeeper.
Mitchell Glasson then got in on the act from close range, before Irankunda won Australia a penalty that Miguel Di Pizio cooly converted.
Glasson then doubled his tally with a front post-finish that made it seven, while in the 38th minute Irankunda became the first player to bag a hat-trick as he lashed home his third.
The home nation then scored twice in quick succession, via Jaylan Pearman and Hately, to see them hit double figures before half time.
The second half kicked off in familiar fashion, as Hately found a hat-trick of his own in the 47th minute.
Local boy Peter Antoniou’s scored next in the 52nd minute, before Di Pizio finished off his second of the night two minutes later.
Brad Maloney, coaching the Subway Joeys for the first time since his appointment last month, introduced Tiago Quintal off the bench – and the Sydney FC attacker rewarded him immediately, slotting one home moments after coming on.
Glasson then secured his treble as well, nodding home after a superb run from Irankunda, before wing-back Antoniou powered home his second of the night with a sweet drive into the bottom corner.
A nice team move led to Glasson’s fourth a minute later, before Quintal’s second off the bench made it 18-0 with 20 minutes to play.
A goalkeeper substitution from North Mariana Islands and the rainy conditions helped stem the tide somewhat in the closing stages, however Australia would go on to add five more through Irankunda, defenders Andre Parkes and Adriano Lebib, substitute Campbell Dovison, alongside an 89th-minute own goal.
Australia will not have long to sit on their 23-0 victory, with a sterner test expected in Friday night’s meeting with Cambodia.
Only top spot in Group G will guarantee a place at next year’s AFC U-17 Asian Cup 2023™ in Kuwait, with only the five highest-ranked second-placed sides joining them at the tournament.
Subway Joeys 22 (Irankunda 2′, 16′, 38′, 71′, Hately 28′, 43′, 47′, Glasson 32′, 36′, 59′, 64′, Di Pizio 35′, 54′, Pearman 43′, Antoniou 52′, 63′, Quintal 56′, 69′, Parkes 75′, Lebib 77′, Dovison 91′, Own Goal 6′, 89′)
North Mariana Islands 0
Date: Wednesday, 5 October 2022
Venue: Shepparton Sport City Precinct
Kick-Off: 7.30pm AEST
Broadcast: Live & Free on the My Football YouTube Channel
Total Daily Attendance: 428 (727 total daily attendance)
Player of the Match: 17. Nestory IRANKUNDA
Australia Lineup: 1. Anthony PAVLESIC, 2. Peter ANTONIOU, 3. Sotiri PHILLIS, 4. Adriano LEBIB, 9. Max HATELY (7. Tiago QUINTAL 55′), 10. Miguel DI PIZIO, 13. Jacob MCLACHLAN (5. Xavier SMITH 46′), 14. Andre PARKES, 16. Jaylan PEARMAN (21. Fabian TALLADIRA 80′), 17. Nestory Irankunda, 19. Mitchell GLASSON (20. Campbell DOVISON 80′)
Substitutes not used: 6. Ryan KALMS, 8. Corey SUTHERLAND, 11. Ayman GULASI, 12. Michael VONJA, 15. Zachary DE JESUS, 18. Gus HOEFSLOOT, 22. Lucas HERRINGTON, 23. Ben DUNBAR
Yellow Card: Nil
Red Card: Nil
Group G Standings | AFC U17 Asian Cup Qualifiers
North Mariana Islands