A relieved Tony Vidmar admits the pressure is now off his Joeys after they booked a spot at next year’s FIFA Under-17 World Cup on Sunday night.
In a tense quarter-final at the AFC Under-16 Championships in Thailand, the Joeys came from a goal down to win 2-1 thanks to goals from Cameron Joice and Daniel Maskin.
The result not only puts the Joeys into the last four of the tournament but also secures a place at the 2015 World Cup in Chile.
And coach Vidmar hopes the achievement will now release the shackles ahead of Wednesday’s semi-finals.
"The goal was to reach the World Cup playing good, attacking-based possession football," a proud Vidmar told the AFC website.
"We still have a lot to learn and can be naïve, but we have 12 months of preparation for the World Cup now.
"I think we have less pressure going into the semis. We can try and play our game with no pressure and expectations."
The Joeys were stunned by an early Kogileswaran Raj goal but remained composed to draw level through Joice before the break before Maskin netted the winner with 15 minutes left.
Vidmar admitted he hasn’t been happy with the level of performance from his side throughout the tournament but praised his side’s character in what was stifling heat at the Muangthong Stadium.
"We knew what to expect from Malaysia, that they would let us have possession and not press us," added Vidmar, whose side has won all four matches at the tournament so far.
"We improved in bits and pieces from the Japan game and at times kept possession well, but we also turned it over too cheaply at times and made unforced errors which gave them chances.
"We struggled with the heat in the first half. I felt it was the hottest it's been yet."
FFA congratulates Young Socceroos on AFF U-18 Championship success
Football Federation Australia Chief Executive David Gallop AM has paid tribute to the Young Socceroos, who beat Malaysia 1-0 overnight in the final of the 2019 AFF U-18 Championship in Vietnam. Gallop said the whole squad and coaching staff should be delighted with their achie
Joeys U-17 and U-15 squads in camp at the AIS
Joeys head coach Trevor Morgan has assembled the two age groups at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) this week, as an important part of the development of the men?s football pathway. The U-17 squad is in camp from 19 to 22 August and the U-15 squad from 22 to 25 August,
Young Socceroos lift AFF U-18 Championship after thrilling, late winner
Lachlan Brook hit a late match-winner as the Young Socceroos secured the 2019 AFF U-18 Championship title with a 1-0 victory over Malaysia. Adelaide United forward Brook broke the deadlock in the 79th minute with a delicate finish over Malaysian goalkeeper Firdaus Iman Mohd Fa
Aussies Abroad: Behich makes debut for İstanbul Basaksehir
Caltex Socceroos defender Aziz Behich made his Turkish Super Lig debut for Istanbul Basaksehir but his new side fell to a 3-0 defeat in the season opener against Yeni Malatyaspor. Behich started alongside the likes of ex-Chelsea striker Demba Ba and former Bundesliga star Elje