Joeys stun Japan in Thailand

The Joeys have maintained their 100 percent record at the AFC U-16 Championships beating Japan 4-2 in a thrilling clash in Bangkok on Wednesday night.

Two sublime free-kicks from Jake Brimmer, who is on the books of EPL giants Liverpool, and another brace from Cameron Joice ensured a huge win that sees Tony Vidmar’s side top their group.

The Aussie youngsters will head into the quarter-finals, where they will play the runner-up from group A, full of confidence and a victory in that one will see them qualify for next year’s FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Chile.

It took just 14 minutes for Brimmer to send the Joeys on their way against Japan, smashing home a brilliant free-kick which gave the ‘keeper no chance.

A goal-keeping howler 10 minutes later saw Joice double the lead before Japan pulled one back two minutes later through Sasaki Takumi.

On the hour mark Brimmer was at it again, curling a free kick into the top right corner to cap another superb performance.

There were some nervy moments for the Aussies after Yasui Takuya got the score back to 3-2 soon after but Joice put the result beyond doubt inside the last 10 minutes.

"We had a win, but I think we probably learnt a lot more from Japan as they are a very good footballing side," Aussie coach Vidmar told the AFC website.

"They keep possession well and their decision making and game awareness is very good and that is somewhere we would like to get to. For us, credit to the boys as they worked hard, but we would like to start to produce good football.

"We played a very good team and I think we were outplayed. There is no hiding behind that. We are still a long way off from where we can be and we will work with the players to get the best possible results.

"Japan have come a long way in 20 years and we are still in our infancy in our youth development and where it should be, so we should look and see what we can do better."

The Joeys’ quarter-final is on Saturday, against either host-nation Thailand or Malaysia.