A goal from 16-year-old Daniel De Silva, the youngest player at Turkey 2013, has earned Australia a 1-1 draw with Colombia at the Huseyin Avni Aker Stadium in Trabzon. The Young Socceroos more than merited their point in an evenly matched encounter and had looked set for victory until Jhon Cordoba restored parity 13 minutes from time.
Colombia’s victory at their continental championship had established them as one of the pre-tournament favourites here in Turkey, but they found themselves up against a confident Aussie side. Paul Okon’s players proved just as capable as their South American opponents of playing slick, incisive football, and one such move almost ended with Joshua Brillante bustling through for an early opening goal.
Australia went closer still midway through the first half when lively left winger Conor Pain slid in to beat the goalkeeper but could only look on in agony as his low effort was cleared off the line. Colombia’s best effort, meanwhile, came from a left-footed free-kick from No10 Juan Quintero which was fizzing goalwards when Paul Izzo got across to tip it over.
Quintero was a probing presence throughout, but he ended up finding himself in the shadow of the game’s headline-maker, young De Silva. The Perth Glory midfielder made a dream start to the second half, bursting through within a minute of the restart and flicking in a shot with the outside of his right foot that took a touch off keeper Christian Bonilla on its way in.
Stung into action, Colombia surged forward and, after Andres Renteria blasted wildly wide from close range, it took some fine goalkeeping from Izzo to deny both Quintero and Andres Correa. But they would not be denied and, with 13 minutes remaining, Jhon Cordoba ensured a share of the spoils with a precise right-foot shot into the bottom corner from 15 yards.