Sydney FC striker Patrick Wood has helped the Olyroos claim back-to-back wins over Indonesia to secure a spot at next year’s under 23 Asian Cup.
The Australians added a 1-0 win to Tuesday’s 3-2 victory to finish top of the Group G qualification standings and advance to the continental tournament to be held in Uzbekistan next June.
Wood was among the goalscorers in game one and scored a vital second 10 minutes into the second leg at the Central Republican Stadium in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
After the Indonesian defence failed to clear a dangerous free kick into the area from Olyroos attacker Lachlan Brook, Wood clinically swept the ball home to claim the only goal of the game.
In the second stanza, Wood fired just wide after being set up by club teammate Callum Talbot, while Borussia Monchengladbach II attacker Jacob Italiano had two efforts denied in quick succession with just under 20 minutes remaining.
Indonesia made some late raids as they sought to keep alive their bid to reach Uzbekistan, but Australia successfully defended their lead to secure a ticket to Tashkent.
Interim Australia U23s coach Trevor Morgan was delighted with the group’s progress.
“There were a lot of positives to take away from this camp, particularly qualification for an AFC U23 Asian Cup which means this age group will get to experience international tournament football next year,” Morgan said.
“We intentionally brought a younger group to these qualifiers, with the core of the squad age eligible to represent Australia at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
“That they have now experienced meaningful matches at a young age will help them gain valuable experience as they develop towards next year’s AFC U23 Asian Cup, and the ongoing path to Paris.”