D’Agostino double keeps Olyroos in the hunt
Nick D'Agostino's brace has put Australia top of their group after they clawed from a goal down to beat tournament hosts Thailand 2-1 at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok in the AFC U23 Championships.
D'Agostino's equaliser completed a snatch and grab for Australia in the first half as he cancelled out Anon Amornlerdsak's blistering opener. The Perth forward popped up again to steal a winner in the second half.
Graham Arnold made six changes to the team that drew 1-1 with Iraq but they were at the mercy of Thailand's dazzling young stars in the first 45.
An opening goal in front of a raucous home crowd was inevitable and it came after 23 minutes through Amornlerdsak who finished calmly into an empty net after a mishap from goalkeeper Tom Glover.
Arnold's side barely got out of their half and had only one shot before D'Agostino poked home an equaliser on the 42nd minute.
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The Olyroos warmed to the task in the second half with the introduction of Denis Genreau giving Australia more confidence.
Arnold's youngsters held more possession, completed more passes and dribbles and threatened to steal three points.
They did just that in the 77th minute as D'Agostino completed his brace after Reno Piscopo cleverly scooped the ball into Gersbach who cut back for the Perth forward to finish.
He would have had a hat-trick minutes later had his miskick not hit his arm before Adelaide United substitute Al-Hassan Toure had his goal ruled out.
Australia were much more dynamic in the second half stymieing Thailand's ability to transition into outrageous attacks. Their fitness levels shone through as their opponents faded.
The win takes Australia to four points meaning they must get result against Bahrain on Wednesday morning (12:15AM AEDT) to ensure progression to the quarter-finals.
Australia must finish in the top three of the tournament to gain automatic entry to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.