Olyroos down Syria in under-23 Asia soccer

Australia have made a winning start at the under-23 Asian Championships, defeating Syria 3-1 in Kunshan, China.

George Blackwood struck a double either side of Bruce Kamau's header to ensure the Olyroos began their campaign on Thursday with three points.

Thomas Deng, who was otherwise strong, turned in a Syrian cross for an own-goal to reduce the deficit to 2-1, but Australia never looked like throwing away their lead.

Australia's first goal was fashioned in the A-League, with three locally based players linking up in style.

Deng split the Syrian defence with a delightful ball on eight minutes, finding Daniel De Silva who crossed for Blackwood's opener.

The Central Coast star helped to increase Australia's lead three minutes before halftime.

He delivered to Germany-based Miloslav Popovic, whose cross didn't not allow Melbourne City's Kamau to miss.

Australia weathered an emboldened Syria after the own-goal but, when substitute Trent Buhagiar crossed for Blackwood's second, the points were sealed.

Paul Izzo had a fine game in goal, pushing a Syrian header onto the post on 12 minutes, while Perth's Brandon Wilson also impressed.

The Olyroos can seal qualification from the group stage on Sunday night by defeating Vietnam.

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