Sport

Kid Cobram impresses for country

By Liam Nash

Cobram soccer export Gianluca Iannucci has helped the Young Socceroos in its successful Asian Football Confederation under-19 qualifying berth to book a spot in the 2020 AFC under-19 Championships.

As a part of the 23-strong Australian squad in Chinese Taipei, Iannucci played a hand in the green and gold’s three game unbeaten run at the tournament - from November 3 to 12 - producing wins against Macau and Chinese Taipei and a draw against Laos.

Before the qualifying event, Iannucci was a part of a 26-man training camp held in the Gold Coast from October 28 to November 3, making the cut after the squad was trimmed down for the trip to Chinese Taipei.

Despite not making an appearance in the Young Socceroos’ opening game, a 2-2 draw with Laos, Iannucci caused havoc along the left wing against Macau in the following fixture.

The 18-year-old showed why he has been pipped as one of the country’s brightest young talents in a 90-minute footballing clinic, drilling home a penalty and playing an integral role in three other goals during the 6-0 drubbing.

Iannucci then came off the bench in the final game of the tournament, where Australia cruised to a 5-0 victory against host Chinese Taipei.

Having gone through qualification unscathed, Australia will touch down in Uzbekistan from October 14 to 31 next year to compete in the 16-team tournament to battle it out for youth supremacy, as well as a chance to punch a ticket to the 2021 under-20 world cup set to be held in Indonesia.

With plenty of football to be played between now and the championship, Iannucci turned his gaze to the Foxtel Y-League, where his Melbourne City side faced off against Perth Glory on Saturday.