McGree on target in entertaining draw with New Zealand

Australia's U-23 side played out an entertaining 1-1 draw with New Zealand U-23's in Friday's highly-anticipated friendly in Wollongong.

Adelaide United starlet Riley McGree broke the deadlock just after the interval with a tidy finish.

But a delightful 71st minute free kick from Kiwi Clayton Lewis, of Scunthorpe United, ensured spoils were shared in the first of the two-match series. 

It was the first match on home soil in close to eight years for the Olyroos, who started on the front foot at a windy WIN Stadium.

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McGree went closest to drawing first blood for Gary van Egmond's side, but the 20-year-old saw his initial effort scooped off the line, before his second was blasted over the bar.

Perth Glory midfielder Brandon Wilson, handed the captain's armband by van Egmond, also saw an effort blocked by the New Zealand defence as Australia turned the screw.

McGree atoned for his wayward earlier effort by finishing off Lachlan Wales' pass on 56 minutes.

But Lewis restored parity for New Zealand with a sweetly-struck free kick.

Australia meet the Kiwis again in Campbelltown on Monday, September 9.

The second match of this Trans-Tasman tussle is the perfect tune-up for the Olyroos, who will travel to Thailand in January to compete in the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship.

International Friendlies – Australia U-23 v New Zealand U-23

Date: Monday, 9 September 2019
Venue: Campbelltown Stadium, Campbelltown
Kick-off: 7.30pm AEST
Tickets: Available at