The Joeys can defeat reigning FIFA U-17 World Cup holders Nigeria if they play to the best of their abilities, says head coach Tony Vidmar.
The Joeys’ journey in the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup continues on Thursday morning (AEDT) when they take on Nigeria in the Round of 16.
A win will see the Joeys progress to the Quarter Finals and date with the victor of Brazil and New Zealand.
If the scores are level at the end of 90 minutes, the match will forgo extra time and go directly to penalties.
Joeys head coach Tony Vidmar said the game plan was going to be the same as it had been for his side’s previous three games.
“If we go in with the same intent, the same desire, the same momentum that we had in the previous three games, we can control the game,” Vidmar said.
“We can dictate the terms; we want to put the opposition on the back foot.
“If we go in with that, with the quality we have on the park, we can give ourselves a realistic chance of progressing.”
The Joeys began their FIFA U-17 World Cup campaign with a 4-1 loss to Germany, before a 0-0 draw with Mexico, and wrapping up the group stage with a 2-1 win over Argentina.
They progressed to the group stage as one of the best four third-placed teams out of the six groups.
Vidmar said his team had performed proudly in the group stage, and if they played to their full potential, they could get a result on Thursday morning.
“I’m happy with the way we performed in a very difficult group,” he said.
“The boys rose to the challenge in a good way.
“I was confident we could progress from the group stage before the first game against Germany, and I still have that same confidence and that same belief the players can do this now.
“But it’s now up to the players to have that same self-belief, and to perform tomorrow night.”
The Joeys’ Round of 16 clash with Nigeria will be shown live and in full high defintiion on SBS ONE from 9.45am on Thursday morning (AEDT).
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