The Young Socceroos will feature at next year’s AFC U19 Championships in Indonesia after Ufuk Talay’s team secured a comprehensive 4-1 victory over DPR Korea in Hanoi on Wednesday.
After winning their opening match of Group J against Hong Kong at the weekend, the Young Socceroos knew that victory over DPR Korea in Vietnam would propel them to next year’s Championships proper.
Australia made a strong start to the crunch encounter, and took the lead just 19 minutes into the match. Fabian Monge rifled home a sweet volley to put the Young Socceroos ahead.
Less than ten minutes later Australia doubled their advantage when Moudi Najjar scored his third goal of the qualification phase after latching on to a cross from Jacob Italiano.
The Young Socceroos headed to the sheds 2-0 up, but just three minutes into the second stanza extended their buffer. Ramy Najjarine scored his second goal of the qualification phase to make the score 3-0.
While DPR Korea pulled a goal back in the 67th minute, they failed to take advantage of a golden chance to ensure that the match would go down to the wire in the 90th minute when they missed a penalty. Instead, after the ball cannoned off the post, the Young Socceroos counter attacked rapidly, racing down the other end of the field to seal victory courtesy of Melbourne Victory man Christian Theoharous.
Following the fixture Young Socceroos Head Coach Ufuk Talay expressed his satisfaction in his team’s performance.
“The team put in a very good collective first half performance whereby they dominated possession and created the chances to go into half time with an even greater lead,” said Talay.
“The players took on the challenge of everything that was thrown at them, and came through with a deserved result.
“It was a good, solid performance all round, and has allowed this group to achieve its first goal of qualifying for the AFC U19 Championships next year,” concluded Talay.
The 2018 AFC U19 Championships in Indonesia will be held between October 18 and November 4 next year.
The qualified teams for next year’s tournament are: Indonesia (hosts), United Arab Emirates, Tajikistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Korea Republic, China PR, Vietnam, Japan, Australia, Iraq, Malaysia, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, DPR Korea.
Lead image courtesy of AFC.