'Gutted' Young Socceroos deserved better: Burgess

Defender Cameron Burgess says the Young Socceroos deserved to go through to the quarter-finals of the AFC Under-19 Championships and the team is gutted to be knocked out.

Australia finished third in Group B with five points after going unbeaten over three games.

The Young Socceroos miss out on advancing to the final eight and, in a bigger blow, fail to qualify for next year’s Under-20 World Cup.

Instead UAE and Uzbekistan have progressed to the quarter-finals on goal difference after also finishing on five points.

Australia was held 1-1 by Uzbekistan in its final group game after a 1-1 draw with UAE.

In both matches the Young Socceroos scored first but conceded late goals. They also notched up a 1-0 win over Indonesia.

Centre back Burgess told FourFourTwo the team deserved to progress.

“We are disappointed we didn’t qualify from the group as we feel our performances deserved that, and we are talented enough to be in the quarter-finals for sure,” Burgess said.

“All the lads dug in during tournament and throughout the tournament.

"They’re a great bunch of guys and each and every one of them will go far in the game. I can’t speak more highly of them.

“We’re gutted not to get the result we needed in the end and it is hard to swallow, but we showed that we can play good football.”

Burgess, who plies his trade with Fulham in England’s Championship, was one of a handful of overseas-based players in Paul Okon’s squad.

The 18-year old stopper said the Young Socceroos just needed an ounce of good fortune.

“I think we just needed that little bit of luck tonight and also against the UAE and that would have seen us cruise the group,” he said.

This is just the third U-20 World Cup the Young Socceroos have failed to reach in more than 30 years since they first participated in the tournament. They also missed out in 1989 and 2007.

Last month the Joeys qualified for the 2015 Under-17 World Cup.

PHOTO: Cameron Burgess in action for Fulham.