Coach Tony Vidmar has praised the efforts of Australia’s Joeys in Bangkok and says the next 13 months will be crucial for their development as they prepare for U-17 World Cup.
The Joeys were bundled out of the AFC U-16 Championship on Wednesday night despite not losing any of their five games.
A late goal saw them take a 1-1 draw into the penalty shootout against DPR Korea in the second semi –final at Rajamangala Stadium.
Park Yong-gwan's strike just after the break gave DPR the lead before Joeys substitute Daniel Arzani equalised in the 84th minute.
But despite Vidmar’s side having all the momentum, the men in Red were clinical from the spot in their second consecutive shootout, snatching the match 4-1 on penalties.
The Joeys’ performances qualified them for U-17 World Cup in Chile and Vidmar says he will use the interim to work on the team’s game.
Speaking after the semi-final heartbreak he told the-afc.com: "We knew they were going to play counterattacking football, so as long as we had our structure, we knew we would control the game and I think we controlled the game.
“But we couldn't break down their buses that were parked in front of the 18-yard box and that is something we have to improve on. But overall, I am really happy with how the played.
"We have 13 months to the World Cup and when we get back to Australia we can closely analyse each game and also closely look at other countries and areas they do well and we don't and look to improve in those parts.
"Finishing and delivery of balls into the box from the wide area is something we need to improve on as that can prove the big difference.
"But overall, the way they played tonight was fantastic and the whole country should be proud of the way they played."
Meanwhile DPR coach Yon Kwang-mu struggled to express his delight after the result set up an all-Korea final on Saturday.
His side will face two-time winners Korea Republic who dismantled Syria 7-1.
"I can't express my happiness that we are going to final,” the DPR coach said.
“I can't find word to express my happiness.
"Our strategy was to have defence and then sudden attack, and in the beginning of the second half we succeeded in our plan. But at the end of the match we conceded one goal. But in general, our plan was OK."
He added: "Australia, Iran and Korea Republic are all the top level teams. I will work another plan for our strategy in our next match.
"The number of goals scored is not very important. Maybe after Syria conceded twice maybe they tried to attack and couldn't defend attacks."comments