The Olyroos earned high praise from mentor Aurelio Vidmar after they cruised to three straight wins to progress to next year’s Rio Olympic qualifiers.
After defeating Myanmar 5-1 overnight, the Olyroos will now face the likes of Japan, Korea Republic, Iraq and UAE in the AFC U-23 Championships in Qatar next January.
The free-scoring Olyroos amassed 15 goals and conceded just one goal over three matches that included victories over Hong Kong (6-0) and Chinese Taipei (4-0) to top Group F.
Vidmar was impressed with the way the players bought in to the National Team blueprint laid down by Socceroos Coach Ange Postecoglou.
“The players were brilliant on and off the field and deserve the success they had,” Vidmar said.
“We played some good football and controlled all three matches but the way they bought into what we are trying to achieve across all the National teams was outstanding.
“We created an identical structure and atmosphere to what has been successful for the Socceroos and the players and staff were thoroughly professional to ensure we won three games in five days under testing conditions.”
While heaping praise on the Olyroos, Vidmar urged the players to remain focussed with the tough part of qualification still to come in January.
“The last week has been great, a good start, but we still have some work to do if we want to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio,” Vidmar added.
“The players need to go back to their clubs and continue to work hard and get as much game time as possible so we can move into the final round of qualifiers in Qatar next January ready for what will be a tougher test.
“All of the big nations have progressed so we can expect a tough tournament, but if we continue the professionalism and play to our potential we are capable of finishing in the top three and playing at the Olympic Games.”
Last night it was Newcastle Jets striker Andrew Hoole’s chance to bag a hat trick while a Jamie Maclaren brace took his goal tally to five for the tournament following his hat trick against Hong Kong.
In a further boost to the Olyroos confidence and structure ahead of the AFC U-23 Championships, attacking players Connor Pain (2), Mustafa Amini, Adam Taggart, Jaushua Sotirio and Brad Smith also found the back of the net in the three matches.
“It was pleasing to see the strikers finding the back of the net,” Vidmar said.
“Jamie Maclaren and Andrew Hoole scored the goals against Myanmar but we also had Musti (Amini), Connor Pain, Taggs (Taggart), Josh (Sotirio) and Brad Smith score across the three games.”
Australia will be join the other nine group winners, five best second-placed teams and hosts Qatar at the AFC U-23 Championship 2016, which doubles as the Olympic qualifiers.
PHOTO: FFA1 comment