Joeys lose shootout thriller in Thailand

The Joeys have been knocked out of the AFC U-16 Championships in Thailand after succumbing to a 4-1 penalty shootout loss to DPR Korea in the semi-final on Wednesday night.

The Young Aussies fought back after going a goal down in the first half to score an equaliser in the 85th minute to force the game to a penalty shootout. 

But a clinical DPR Korea proved too strong for Australia in the shootout converting all four of their spot kicks to clinch their spot in the final against Korea Republic. 

Tony Vidmar's side started the match brightly with Charlie Devereux threatening on a number of occasions in the opening 20 minutes but was unable to fashion a clear cut chance.  

DPR Korea gradually grew into the game and nearly opened the scoring on the half hour mark but Joeys keeper Duro Dragicevic pulled off a duo of reflex saves.  

The Aussies dominated possession throughout the first half but lacked a killer pass to unlock a well organised DPR Korea defence. 

The Koreans looked threatening on the counter attack and deservedly opened the scoring just after half time with a nice finish from Pak Yong Gwan. 

Australia continued to dictate proceedings in the second half but grew increasingly frustrated as DPR Korea were content to sit deep and throw numbers behind the ball.  

But with just five minutes remaining an incisive run from Jackson Bandiera unlocked the Korean defence before squaring to Daniel Arzani to level the scores. 

The Joeys pushed for the winner in closing stages but they could not break the deadlock before ultimately succumbing in the penalty shootout.