Vidmar: Australia should be proud of Joeys

Tony Vidmar lamented his side’s inability to break down “the buses parked” in front of DPR Korea’s goal as the Joeys lost their AFC U-16 Championship semi-final on penalties on Wednesday night.

Despite a superb performance and dominating possession for long periods, the Joeys were held to 1-1 after 120 minutes before losing the shot-out 4-1.

It was a heart-breaking end to what has been a wonderful tournament for the Aussie youngsters, who saved their best game for the semi-final.

The Joeys went behind to Park Yong-Gwan's strike in the first half but rewarded for their enterprising play five minutes from time when Daniel Arzani scored after an incisive run from Jackson Bandiera.

"We knew they were going to play counter-attacking football, so as long as we had our structure, we knew we would control the game and I think we controlled the game,” Vidmar told the AFC website. 

“We couldn't break down their buses that were parked in front of the 18-yard box and that is something we have to improve on.

“But overall, I am really happy with how the played.”

Despite missing a spot in the final, the Joeys did achieve their first mission which was to qualify for next year’s FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Chile.

And Vidmar says preparation for that tournament would start immediately, outlining a couple of key areas the side must improve on to take on the world’s best.

"We have 13 months to the World Cup and when we get back to Australia we can closely analyse each game and also closely look at other countries and areas they do well and we don't and look to improve in those parts,” Vidmar said.

"Finishing and delivery of balls into the box from the wide area is something we need to improve on as that can prove the big difference.

"But overall, the way they played tonight was fantastic and the whole country should be proud of the way they played."