Head Coach Aurelio Vidmar has praised the professionalism of his squad after the Olyroos cruised to three straight wins to progress to the AFC U-23 Championship, which is the final round of qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games.
The Olyroos defeated Myanmar 5-1 overnight following victories over Hong Kong (6-0) and Chinese Taipei (4-0) to progress as winners of Group F. They will now face the likes of Japan, Korea Republic, Iraq and UAE in the AFC U-23 Championships in Qatar in January 2016.
Vidmar was pleased by the results but more impressed with the way the players bought in to the National Team blueprint laid down by Socceroos Coach Ange Postecoglou, which runs down through all National Teams.
“The players were brilliant on and off the field and deserve the success they had,” Vidmar said. “We played some good football and controlled all three matches but the way they bought into what we are trying to achieve across all the National teams was outstanding.
“We created an identical structure and atmosphere to what has been successful for the Socceroos and the players and staff were thoroughly professional to ensure we won three games in five days under testing conditions.”
While heaping praise on the Olyroos, Vidmar urged the players to remain focussed with the tough part of qualification still to come in January 2016.
“The last week has been great, a good start, but we still have some work to do if we want to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio,” Vidmar added.
“The players need to go back to their clubs and continue to work hard and get as much game time as possible so we can move into the final round of qualifiers in Qatar next January ready for what will be a tougher test.
“All of the big nations have progressed so we can expect a tough tournament but if we continue the professionalism and play to our potential we are capable of finishing in the top three and playing at the Olympic Games.”
Last night it was Newcastle Jets striker Andrew Hoole’s chance to bag a hat trick while a Jamie McLaren brace took his goal tally to five for the tournament following his hat trick against Hong Kong.
In a further boost to the Olyroos confidence and structure ahead of the AFC U-23 Championships, attacking players Connor Pain (2), Mustafa Amini, Adam Taggart, Jaushua Sotirio and Brad Smith also found the back of the net in the three matches.
“It was pleasing to see the strikers finding the back of the net,” Vidmar said. “Jamie McLaren and Andrew Hoole scored the goals against Myanmar but we also had Musti (Amini), Connor Pain, Taggs (Taggart), Josh (Sotirio) and Brad Smith score across the three games.”
Australia will be join the other nine group winners, five best second-placed teams and hosts Qatar at the AFC U-23 Championship 2016.
‘An amazing story’: Patrice Evra leads social media tributes to Mabil, Deng debuts
There was a lot to like about the Caltex Socceroos win over Kuwait on Tuesday (AEDT) but arguably the biggest highlight was the international debuts of youngsters Awer Mabil and Thomas Deng. The pair were both second-half substitutes and combined on the right flanks, with Mabi
Stats review: Breaking down the Caltex Socceroos win over Kuwait
The Caltex Socceroos made a blistering start to the Graham Arnold era on Tuesday morning (AEDT) with their emphatic 4-0 win over Kuwait. The performance and result not only made a big statement of what this Australian team is set to deliver under their new boss, but also snapp
Opposition watch: Korea Republic stays unbeaten despite surrendering lead
Korea Republic’s unbeaten run has continued ahead of next month’s friendly against the Caltex Socceroos after a draw with Panama on Wednesday morning (AEDT). After last week’s impressive 2-1 win over Uruguay in Seoul, the Koreans were held to a 2-2 draw by the Central American
AFC U-19 Championship preview: Young Socceroos on the hunt for FIFA U-20 World Cup qualification
Some of Asia’s future football stars will gather in Kuala Lumpur as the AFC U-19 Championship kicks off on Thursday. And our Young Socceroos are out to show the world they mean business. A place at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland next year is at stake for Ante Milicic and