Australia national under-23 soccer team

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Australia under-23
Nickname(s) Olyroos
Association Football Federation Australia
Sub-confederation AFF (South-East Asia)
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Head coach Aurelio Vidmar
Captain Connor Chapman
Top scorer Mark Viduka (17)
First colours
Second colours
First international
 New Caledonia 2–1 Australia 
(Noumea, New Caledonia; 6 November 1967)
Biggest win
 Australia 12–0 Vanuatu 
(Adelaide, Australia; 25 January 1996)
Biggest defeat
 Australia 1–6 Poland 
(Barcelona, Spain; 5 August 1992)

The Australia national under-23 soccer team represents Australia in international under-23 soccer and at the Olympic Games. The team is controlled by the governing body for soccer in Australia, Football Federation Australia (FFA), which is currently a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the regional ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) since leaving the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) in 2006. The team's official nickname is the Olyroos.

Australia's first two appearances in the Olympic Games saw the senior men's team participate, but in 1992 the eligibility was restricted to players under the age of 23, while in 1996, it was decided to allow teams to choose three over-age players in the final Olympic squads.

The team has represented Australia at the Olympic Games on five occasions, in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008. The team will also represented Australia at the AFC U-22 Championship tournament in 2014.


Early years[edit]

The Australian national under-23 team made its international debut in 1967, when it took part in a triangular tournament against New Caledonia and New Zealand in Noumea. Australia lost its first game 2–1 on 6 November, and won its second 1–3 on 10 November, with Gary Manuel supplying goals in both games.[1] The team would next played almost eighth years later in 1974, in a tour of Indonesia, sponsored by the Australian Government. During the tour, Australia, coached by Eric Worthington, won all three match against the host nation.[2] It would then be another 16 years before the team competed in international competition of any kind.

In August 1990, Australia played a series of friendly matches in Europe under coach Eddie Thomson. The first against Switzerland ended in a 0–0 draw. The second match was played against the League of Ireland XI, and ended in a 2–2 draw, with goals from Gary Hasler and John Gibson. Australia's final match was lost 2–0 against Czechoslovakia.[3]

1992 Barcelona Olympics[edit]

Arguably Australia's most successful Olympic tournament, the squad coached by Eddie Thomson contained just two overseas based players: KV Mechelen striker Zlatko Arambasic and Club Brugge midfielder Paul Okon, as the rest of the squad hailed from NSL clubs. The squad saw Mark Bosnich, John Filan, Tony Vidmar and Tony Popovic, and most importantly, Ned Zelic, who had virtually single handedly gotten the Olyroos to Barcelona with a sensational double strike in the second leg play off against the much admired Dutch team, take part before commencing their successful careers in Europe.

Drawn with Mexico, Denmark and Ghana, the Olyroos would take on the Africans in Zaragoza in their first round fixture. An early goal on 12 minutes, a long range free kick by Mohammed Gargo set the tone for Ghana as they held onto that lead until the 83rd minute when it was extended to 2-0 by Kwame Ayew. Ayew grabbed another on 89 minutes before Tony Vidmar scored a consulation goal for Australia on 91 minutes to bring the score to 3-1.[4] John Filan was eventually dropped after this game after coming under heavy criticism for failing to put up a wall for Ghana's first goal, and the ever green Mark Bosnich was brought in, cementing his spot in the side for the Olympics.

Two days later in Barcelona, Zlatko Arambasic opened the scoring after 20 minutes as Australia lead Mexico 1-0 until the 63rd minute when Jorge Castañeda leveled the tie at 1-1, the game would finish this way which meant that Australia would need to win their last group stage game to proceed to the knock-out stages.[5]

The Olyroos finally put in a performance worthy of note as the entire team began to fire on all cylinders, winning 3-0 against Denmark to book a spot in the quarter-finals. The game saw one first half goal by John Markovski and two second half goals thanks to Damian Mori and Tony Vidmar.[6]

Australia and Ghana progressed to the knock-out stages where Australia were tied to play against Sweden in Barcelona. In front of 30, 000 spectators at the Camp Nou, John Markovski put Australia ahead after 30 minutes. A 53rd minute strike by Shaun Murphy put the Olyroos 2-0 up until Patrik Andersson scored one back for Sweden on 62 minutes. The game stayed at 2-1 and the result sent the Olyroos to the semi-finals where they would face Poland.[7]

At the Camp Nou in front of 45,000 spectators, Poland struck on 27 minutes, taking the lead after a goal from Wojciech Kowalczyk. Australia, however, hit back on 35 minutes when Adelaide City striker Carl Veart equalised. Just before half time though, Mark Viduka lashed out at a Polish defender, earning himself a straight red card, and leaving the Australian's a man down against a Polish side who were technically gifted all over the park. Poland truly came to life in the second period, putting on a dazzling display of soccer and scoring five goals in the process, which saw a hat-trick from Andrzej Juskowiak and an own goal from Shaun Murphy, to take out the game at 6-1.[8]

In the Bronze Medal game, Australia would meet up with group stage outfit Ghana, who took the lead when Isaac Asare scored after 19 minutes and eventually winning the game 1-0, the result left the Olyroos to claim fourth spot at the tournament, as Spain would finish in first place after beating Poland 3-2.[9]

1996 Atlanta Olympics[edit]

Eddie Thomson took a young squad to the United States, which included Aurelio Vidmar and Steve Horvat as the overaged players, the squad was combined of 7 overseas players out of the 18 men squad. A young Mark Viduka was in his second year at Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia and Kevin Muscat had just signed with English Premier League club Crystal Palace. Drawn into Group B with European heavy weights Spain and France, as well as Saudi Arabia, the Olyroos would lose 2-0 to France in their opening clash thanks to goals from Robert Pires and Florian Maurice, as Australia's Danny Tiatto saw a red card just after 24 minutes.[10] A 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia earnt the Olyroos their first 3 points of the campaign. Peter Tsekenis scored after just 12 minutes before the Saudis were able to draw level through Mohammed Al Khilaiwi on 37 minutes. On 63 minutes Mark Viduka put Australia in front as Australia came out winners at 2-1.[11] After leading Spain 2-0 courtesy of two early goals from Aurelio Vidmar, Raúl González scored one on 40 minutes, Santiago Denia added after 86 minutes to level the tie. Shortly after, the deadlock was broken as Raúl netted on the 90th minute to seal victory for Spain. The result had eliminated Australia from tournament as Spain and France progressed to the knock-out stages.[12]

2000 Sydney Olympics[edit]

In a full-strength side, which included Stan Lazaridis, Josip Skoko and Mark Viduka as over aged players, under coach Raul Blanco the Olyroos were drawn against Italy, Nigeria and Honduras in Group A. In front of 93, 252 spectators at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia were defeated 1-0 by an Italian Andrea Pirlo goal after 81 minutes.[13] At the Sydney Football Stadium, Australia's second group stage fixture saw them down 2-0 against Nigeria after just 22 minutes. Two goals in the space of just four minutes from Hayden Foxe and Kasey Wehrman saw Australia draw level just before half time. The second half saw the expulsion of both Brett Emerton and Celestine Babayaro ten minutes after play had commenced. On 64 minutes, Victor Agali's goal was enough to see Nigeria take out the game at 3-2.[14] The result meant that Australia had been knocked out of the tournament with one match remaining. In Sydney, Honduras sealed a 2-1 victory after a brace by Cagliari striker David Suazo.[15] Hondouras would finish in third place, Nigeria and Italy finished in the top two positions whereas the hosts finished in bottom spot on 0 points, much to the disappointment of the local media and then-active Australian Soccer Association.

2004 Athens Olympics[edit]

Frank Farina took an 18-man squad which included Milwall's Tim Cahill, Osasuna's striker John Aloisi and Rangers' defender Craig Moore as over aged players. The squad proved to good enough to reach the final itself, drawing 1-1 with Tunisia thanks to an Aloisi equaliser and beating Serbia and Montenegro in a 5-1 thrashing which saw a brace from Aloisi, Ahmad Elrich and a goal by Cahill.[16][17] Australia would lose 1-0 to Argentina when Andrés D'Alessandro scored after 9 minutes in their final group stage game as both teams went on to qualify for the knock out stages.[18] Australia would meet Iraq at the quarter-final stage where Emad Mohammed scored after 64 minutes, sending Iraq through to the semi-finals as they won the game 1-0.[19]

2008 Beijing Olympics[edit]

The 'Olyroos' at Bluetongue Stadium during 2007
The starting team for the Olyroos match against Yemen on 19 June 2011

The Olyroos' first qualifying game for the 2008 Beijing Olympics was held on 7 February 2007, when Australia hosted Taiwan in Adelaide. Midfielder Kristian Sarkies became the first player to score a hat-trick for the Under-23's in the Asian competition and Australia won the home tie 11–0. They then travelled to Taipei and narrowly edged out the home side 1–0 in difficult conditions to advance to the second stage of the qualifications. In February 2007 the Olyroos played Iran in the first game of the second round, which resulted in a 0–0 draw. In the second game of the round, against Jordan in Adelaide, they drew 1–1. This result left Australia in second spot, four points behind leaders Saudi Arabia. Against Saudi Arabia, Australia won the first leg 2–0 and lost 2–1 in the second. In May 2007 they defeated Iran 3–1. Australia qualified for the third and final round of the Asian qualifications after beating Jordan 4–0 in their final game in June 2007. The Olyroos met Iraq, Korea DPR and Lebanon at the final round (August till November 2007). Australia started their campaign with a scoreless draw against Iraq in Doha. Then the Olyroos went on to win their home games against North Korea (1–0) and Lebanon (3–0). After another scoreless draw against Lebanon in Beirut, Australia was behind Iraq with both eight points but Iraq leading because of the better goal difference. The decisive match was held in Gosford on 17 November 2007 and saw the Olyroos emerging as 2–0 winners thanks to goal from Adrian Leijer and Mark Milligan. The following 1–1 draw against North Korea in Pyongyang sealed Australia's qualification for Beijing, as they finished as group winners with 12 points, one more than Iraq.

When the eventual tournament took place in August 2008, the Olyroos were drawn against Argentina, Côte d'Ivoire and Serbia where coach Graham Arnold had controversially left out overseas-based players Nathan Burns and Bruce Djite, which left half of the squad including domestic players. A hopeful squad looked upon by the public which included Nuremberg's Matthew Spiranovic and Gençlerbirliği's James Troisi, the experience of Archie Thompson and Jade North were included as the over aged players. Shanghai was the venue of Australia's first group stage clash against Serbia, which saw them go in front after 69 minutes thanks to a Ruben Zadkovich goal. Slobodan Rajković however leveled the scores after 78 minutes to end the game at 1-1.[20] Australia's second game was against Argentina, who had beaten Ivory Coast 2-1 in their opening clash. The Olyroos held the Albiceleste at 0-0 until Napoli's Ezequiel Lavezzi latched on to a cross to score after 76 minutes. The full strength Argentina side, a team that included Roman Riquelme, Sergio Agüero and Lionel Messi, took out the game at 1-0 which left Australia in a must-win situation against the Ivory Coast.[21] An 81st minute Salomon Kalou strike gave Côte d'Ivoire a 1-0 victory knocking Australia out of the tournament.[22]

2012 London Olympics[edit]

Under coach Aurelio Vidmar, Australia commenced their qualification for the 2012 London Olympic soccer tournament in the second round of qualification where they faced Yemen in a two game series, the first on 19 June 2011 at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford and the second on 23 June at Newcastle International Sports Centre in Newcastle. Australia won 7-0 on aggregate and progressed to the next stage. For the third round of the qualifiers Australia was drawn into Group B with Iraq, Uzbekistan and the United Arab Emirates, with the group's fixtures commencing in September 2011 and concluding in March 2012. Australia's attempt to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games failed, with the team finishing last in their group, with four draws and two losses.[23]

2013 AFC U-23 Championship[edit]

Coaching staff[edit]

Position Name
Head coach Australia Aurelio Vidmar
Assistant coach Australia
Goalkeeping coach Australia


Current squad[edit]

The following players have been called up for the 2013 AFC U-22 Championship from 12 January 2014.[24] Caps and goals correct as of 21 January 2014

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Aaron Lennox (1993-02-19) 19 February 1993 (age 21) 2 0 England Queens Park Rangers
12 1GK Jack Duncan (1993-04-19) 19 April 1993 (age 21) 1 0 Australia Perth Glory
18 1GK John Hall (1993-10-23) 23 October 1993 (age 20) 1 0 Australia Adelaide United
2 2DF Jason Geria (1993-05-10) 10 May 1993 (age 21) 3 0 Australia Melbourne Victory
3 2DF Curtis Good (1993-03-23) 23 March 1993 (age 21) 2 0 England Newcastle United
4 2DF Connor Chapman (1994-10-31) 31 October 1994 (age 19) 3 0 Australia Melbourne City
5 2DF Corey Brown (1994-01-07) 7 January 1994 (age 20) 2 0 Australia Brisbane Roar
13 2DF Scott Galloway (1995-04-25) 25 April 1995 (age 19) 3 0 Australia Melbourne Victory
14 2DF Nick Ansell (1994-02-02) 2 February 1994 (age 20) 2 0 Australia Melbourne Victory
15 2DF David Vranković (1993-11-11) 11 November 1993 (age 20) 1 0 Australia Bonnyrigg White Eagles
6 3MF Joshua Brillante (1993-03-25) 25 March 1993 (age 21) 2 0 Italy Fiorentina
7 3MF Stefan Mauk (1995-11-12) 12 November 1995 (age 18) 4 0 Australia Melbourne Heart
8 3MF Ryan Edwards (1993-11-11) 11 November 1993 (age 20) 2 0 England Reading
16 3MF Reece Caira (1993-01-07) 7 January 1993 (age 21) 2 0 New Zealand Wellington Phoenix
17 3MF Jake Barker-Daish (1993-05-07) 7 May 1993 (age 21) 3 0 Unattached
19 3MF Chris Ikonomidis (1995-05-04) 4 May 1995 (age 19) 2 0 Italy Lazio
20 3MF Hagi Gligor (1995-04-08) 8 April 1995 (age 19) 2 0 Australia Sydney
21 3MF Andrew Hoole (1993-10-22) 22 October 1993 (age 20) 4 0 Australia Newcastle Jets
22 3MF Ryan Kitto (1994-08-09) 9 August 1994 (age 20) 2 1 Australia Adelaide United
9 4FW Dylan Tombides (1994-03-08) 8 March 1994 (age 20) 4 0 England West Ham United
10 4FW Adam Taggart (1993-06-02) 2 June 1993 (age 21) 5 0 England Fulham
11 4FW Connor Pain (1993-11-11) 11 November 1993 (age 20) 2 0 Australia Melbourne Victory
23 4FW Peter Skapetis (1995-05-05) 5 May 1995 (age 19) 3 2 England Stoke City

Results and fixtures[edit]


Competitive record[edit]

Summer Olympics[edit]

Summer Olympics record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
19001988 See Australia national team
Spain 1992 Fourth place 4th 6 2 1 3 8 12
United States 1996 Group stage 13th 3 1 0 2 4 6
Australia 2000 Group stage 15th 3 0 0 3 3 6
Greece 2004 Quarterfinals 7th 4 1 1 2 6 4
China 2008 Group stage 11th 3 0 1 2 1 3
England 2012 Did not qualify
Brazil 2016 To be determined
Japan 2020
Total Fourth place 5/6 19 4 3 12 22 31

AFC U-22 Championship[edit]

AFC U-22 Championship record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
Oman 2013 Quarterfinals 6th 4 2 0 2 3 6
2015 To be determined
Total 1/1 0 Titles 4 2 0 2 3 6

Copa America Sub 23[edit]


  1. ^ "Australian Under 23 National Team Matches for 1967". Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Australian Under 23 Internationals for 1974". Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Olyroo Matches for 1990". Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  5. ^ "Previous Tournaments". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  6. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  7. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  8. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  9. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  10. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  11. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  12. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  13. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  14. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  15. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  16. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  17. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  18. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  19. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  20. ^ [1][dead link]
  21. ^ [2][dead link]
  22. ^ [3][dead link]
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Vidmar has sights on Rio 2016 at AFC U-22 Championships.". Football Federation Australia. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 

External links[edit]