Joeys to face Nigeria in Round of 16

The Joeys will play the reigning U17 World Cup champions, Nigeria, on Thursday morning after progressing to the Round of 16.

The Aussies progressed as one of the best four third-placed teams after New Zealand defeated Paraguay 2-1, and France defeated Syria 4-0.

Those results left the Joeys placed above England in Group B on two points, and above Paraguay in Group F on three points.

Ahead is a monumental task for the Joeys. Nigeria has four titles and three runners-up finishes, making them the most successful nation in the tournament's history.

Head coach Tony Vidmar said he was rapt to have advanced, but said there was a lot more to come from his young side.

“I’m delighted that we’ve progressed through the group of death,” Vidmar said.

“The boys have to take the credit; they’ve done really well so far in this tournament.

“But there’s still a lot more we can improve on through this tournament.”

Vidmar said his side is showing signs of maturity and progression with every game they play.

“It’s great that we’ve got through to the next round because it gives our players another opportunity to play against a different style of football at an international level,” he said.

“The more games they get, the greater the experience is for them.”

Few gave the Joeys any chance of progressing after the initial draw in September saw Australia grouped alongside Germany, Mexico, and Argentina, but Tony Vidmar’s boys have performed proudly on the world stage.

A 4-1 loss to Germany began the tournament on a sour note, but the Joeys earned a point after a 0-0 draw against two-time world champions Mexico, before defeating Argentina 2-1.

The Joeys' clash against Nigeria on Thursday at 10am in Vina Del Mar will be shown live on SBS and streamed online. Full broadcast details will be announced soon.

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1 comment


They should aim to win the world cup.... at least aim to win it.