Joeys bow out of World Cup after France loss

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The Joeys crumbled after they went down to 10-men in the second half and subsequently suffered a 4-0 loss in their U17 World Cup match against France.

France dominated the round 16 match from start to finish, scoring four goals to send the Joeys packing in a clinical performance with Nathanael Mbuku scoring a hat-trick.

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The French put immense pressure on the Joeys’ defence. The Joeys could only hold out until a cross to the back post found Mbuku’s head to see France take a 1-0 lead early on.

France continued to dominate after the goal, continuously putting the Joeys’ goal under enormous pressure. The Australians’ were lucky not to concede more, with Adam Pavlesic keeping out plenty of attempts and some solid defence to back it up.

The Joeys were able to create some of their own chance with Cameron Peupion and Joshua Rawlins showing moments of danger.

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Peupion stole the ball off a defender and shot from range butMelvin Zinga in goals pushed it wide. Rawlins came incredibly close, as his shot clipped the top of the bar and went out.

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The score remained locked at 1-0 in favour of the French heading into the half time break.

France started the second half by piling on the pressure to the Australian side. To make matters worse, Anton Mlinaric was shown a yellow card for a tackle before a VAR review upgraded it to a red card, putting the Joeys down to 10-men.

The French were awarded a penalty in the 63rd minute from a Trent Ostler tackle, but it was overturned by VAR as a handball was spotted in the lead-up play.

France would extend their lead to 2-0 in the end as Mbuku got his second, striking the ball into the bottom right past Pavlesic in a one on one situation.

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With little more than five minutes left in the game, Mbuku grabbed his third goal by slotting away a close-range finish to make it 3-0.

Things did not end there, as France added a fourth goal with Enzo Millot curling the ball into the top corner.

It could have been a large deficit for the Joeys, as Georginio Rutter had two injury-time goals ruled offside by VAR.

The 4-0 defeat to France means it’s the end of the World Cup road for the Joeys in Brazil.

Feature Image Credit: Football Federation Australia

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Declan Smith
Current Sports Media student at University of Canberra. Average footballer