Melbourne City Academy defender Peter Antoniou and the Joeys have suffered a 3-1 Quarter Final defeat to Japan in the AFC U17 Asian Cup Thailand 2023™, ending their run in the competition.
Trailing 2-0 at the break, Antoniou was introduced at half-time, having an immediate impact on the match. The City young gun fired an effort from a set-piece, only to be denied by Japan’s shot-stopper.
As Australia’s attacking pressure continued to mount, the breakthrough came via Nestory Irankunda to make it 2-1.
Despite the Joey’s best efforts to find an equaliser, the team were ultimately undone by a brilliant piece of attacking play, which saw Rento Takaoka make it 3-1 and secure Japan’s place in the Semi Finals.
A 2-0 defeat to Saudi Arabia in the opening fixture saw the Joeys begin their Asian Cup campaign on the back foot, but like all good sides do, the young Australians bounced back.
Their second group stage fixture saw Australia secure an entertaining 5-3 win over China PR, before making it back-to-back wins with a 2-0 victory over Tajikistan.
City youngster, Antoniou, started in Australia’s win over China and Tajikistan before making an immediate impact off the bench in their Quarter Final clash with Japan.