Heartbreak for Australia’s Joeys as they were bundled out of the U-16 Asian Championship during a dramatic penalty shootout with DPR Korea overnight.
The Joeys went into the shootout with all the momentum after super sub Daniel Azarni fired home the equaliser to make it 1-1 in the 84th minute.
But the Koreans, facing their second consecutive shootout of the tournament, were clinical from the spot, taking the semi-final 4-1 on penalties.
The result at the Rajamangala Stadium, in Bangkok, sets up a mouthwatering all-Korea final on Saturday after a rampant South Korea demolished Syria 7-1 earlier in the day.
Australia kept the ball well in the first-half but it was the team in red who carved out the better of the chances, bringing out two top shelf saves from Joeys goalkeeper Duro Dragicevic.
After a goalless first 45' DPR Korea found themselves in front within minutes of the restart, when the Aussies failed to track the deep run from midfield by Pak Yong Gwan who latched onto the cutback to slot home.
With the clock running down the Joeys were largely restricted to long range efforts as they faced a wall of red shirts.
But an astute substitution from coach Tony Vidmar paid dividends when Jackson Bandiera attacked the byline and cutback to Azarni who levelled the scores.
The Joeys are out of the championship but live to fight another day having already qualified for next year's Under-17 World Cup in Chile.
Full match report to follow.comments