Slice of Cheese

Atkinson Captains Young Socceroos To Victory

Nathaniel Atkinson has become the third Tasmanian to captain a National Footballing side, as he led the Young Socceroos to victory to a 2-1 victory over Vietnam overnight in the Under 19 Asian Football Championships.

Atkinson joins Dominic Longo and Kurt Reynolds as Tasmanians to have donned the armband for a National side, as he led the side out at the Patriot Candrabhaga Stadium in Indonesia.

Playing in central midfield and captaining the side for the first time at the tournament, Atkinson had a strong game, including an assist on the second goal as the Young Socceroos moved into a strong position to advance to the knockout stage.

The Australian’s opened the scoring on 37 minutes when Vietnam’s defence failed to pick up Angus Thurgate from a set-piece, allowing him to calmly slot the ball home from close range.

Ben Folami then doubled the lead when he steered the ball into the bottom corner after being found by an excellent long-range pass from Atkinson.

Vietnam set up a nervy finish when they pulled a goal back with five minutes left but the Young Socceroos held firm to secure a valuable three points.

The win sees Australia join South Korea on 4 points in Group C, with the sides next opponent, Jordan, sitting in third place on 3 points after 2 games. It means that a draw in the final group game against Jordan on Thursday will guarantee the Young Socceroos progression to the quarter-finals.