Goals to Mohamed Toure and Lachlan Brook led Australia Under-23s to a narrow win over Qatar in Saudi Arabia.
Mohamed Toure and Lachlan Brook were on target as the Olyroos edged Qatar 2-1 in an international friendly, while Marco Tilio made a late cameo in a boost to his domestic situation in Scotland.
Australia Under-23s are in the Middle East for a pair of international friendlies, including next week’s matchup with Saudi Arabia, as they ramp up preparations for the 2024 AFC U23 Asian Cup in April.
On Sunday (AEDT), the Olyroos saw off Qatar thanks to goals from Paris FC loanee Toure and Western Sydney Wanderers star Brook at the Prince Saud Bin Jalawi Stadium in Khobar, Saudi Arabia.
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The starting XI featured seven Isuzu UTE A-League-based players – goalscorer Brook, captain Callum Talbot (Melbourne City), goalkeeper Patrick Beach (Melbourne City), Lucas Mauragis (Newcastle Jets), Kai Trewin (Brisbane Roar), Raphael Borges Rodrigues (Macarthur FC) and Mark Natta (Newcastle Jets).
Toure – on the books of Ligue 1 outfit Stade de Reims – made his Socceroos debut against England at Wembley in October and he broke the deadlock against the Qataris in the 27th minute.
The A-Leagues graduate showed an exquisite turn of pace as he turned his defender and found the back of the net in emphatic fashion.
With five minutes before half-time, Brook doubled Australia’s lead after being released by Adrian Segecic.
Qatar did pull a goal back prior to the break, however.
Tilio came off the bench in the final nine minutes of regulation as he took a step towards a potential debut for Scottish champions Celtic.
He made the move to Celtic at the start of the season, with three-time reigning Isuzu UTE A-League premiers Melbourne City netting a reported fee of £1.5 million (A$2.8m).
However, the Socceroos forward is yet to make his Celtic debut after an injury-interrupted start to life in Glasgow.
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers recently provided an update on the 22-year-old’s situation.
“It’s just time. He will admit it himself, it’s been a really, really hard transition for him,” Rodgers said.
“The intensity of the game is totally different to what he is used to, so it’s been a challenge for him in training.
“It’s always difficult, you are a new player coming into a club and you end up being injured virtually all of pre-season and into September.
“He has started to find his feet in the last three or four weeks. It’s going to take him more time but I am not in any big rush for Marco. He will bring himself to the team as quickly as he can produce in training and over his time here.
“He is adapting but it’s taking a wee bit longer for him just purely because the intensity of the game is totally different to where he has come from.”