Sport Football Olyroos break deadlock to defeat Syria on path to Tokyo

Olyroos break deadlock to defeat Syria on path to Tokyo

Australia defeated Syria 1-0 in the AFC U-23 Championship quarter final. Photo: Getty
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The Olyroos are just one win away from the Tokyo Olympics after a dramatic 1-0 quarter-final win over Syria at the AFC U-23 Championship in Thailand.

Al Hassan Toure broke the deadlock in the 101st minute at Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium on Saturday night to help push Australia into their first ever semi-final at the tournament, in which the top three will qualify for the Olympics in July.

The Adelaide United striker took the field in the 65th minute and with both sides remaining goalless at fulltime, the match went into two halves of extra time.

Then there was a moment of magic as Olyroos midfielder Aiden O’Neill threaded an exquisite through ball from just past the halfway line to find Toure sprinting into the box.

The Australia forward poked at it with the outside of his right foot, pushing the ball through onrushing Syria keeper Mohammed Yazan Ourabi’s legs and into an open goal, sending the crowd into raptures.

It was Toure’s second goal for the Olyroos since he scored on debut in a friendly with China in November.

In the upcoming semi-finals, Australia will face the winner of Sunday’s quarter-final between South Korea and Jordan.

Saudia Arabia beat hosts Thailand 1-0 in the other quarter-final and they will line up against either the United Arab Emirates or Uzbekistan in the semi-finals.