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Young Socceroos miss out on another Under-20 World Cup

The Young Socceroos have failed to qualify for the Under-20 World Cup for a third straight time following defeat in their AFC Under-19 Championship quarter-final in Indonesia.

Australia lost 3-1 to Saudi Arabia at Patriot Stadium in West Java, with only the top four sides in the continental tournament securing a place at next year's youth World Cup in Poland.

Nathaniel Atkinson, seen in action for Melbourne City, scored but it wasn't enough for the Young Socceroos.

Nathaniel Atkinson, seen in action for Melbourne City, scored but it wasn't enough for the Young Socceroos.Credit:AAP

Melbourne City defender Nathaniel Atkinson scored a first-half equaliser for the Young Socceroos after Turki Al-Ammar put Saudi Arabia ahead, but second-half goals from Feras Albirakan and Saud Abdulhamid sealed the fate of Ante Milicic's side.

With attacking duo Daniel Arzani and Riley McGree unavailable for selection due to club commitments, the Australians managed just one win in their group to finish second behind South Korea.

They drew 1-1 with the Koreans and defeated Vietnam 2-1 before a 1-1 result with Jordan locked them into a showdown with the Saudis.

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The Asian qualifiers for the 2019 Under-20 World Cup are South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Qatar. Australia's last appearance in the biennial event came back in 2013.

AAP

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