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Qualification for next year’s AFC U-17 Asian Cup in Bahrain is just one point away for Australia after a resounding win over Cambodia put it on top of Group G.
Facing off at Shepparton’s McEwen Reserve, the Joeys were a class above their opponents on Friday night, securing a 10-0 win.
The result means a draw or a win against China on Sunday will be enough to see Australia top the qualification group.
“I thought it was a really professional performance from the lads, tradesman like again, they really stuck to the task to get the result and really dominated the game, I thought it was a really dominant performance,” Australia coach Brad Maloney said after the game.
“It’s nice to win by a margin, of course first and foremost we wanted to get the three points.”
With the match falling almost two months to the day that Cambodia beat Australia at the AFF U-16 Championships, both teams were looking to start well – and that is what the Joeys did.
It took just five minutes for the host nation to open the scoring, with a corner resulting in an own goal being scored, before Mitchell Glasson doubled Australia’s lead with a powerful volley.
While Glasson would soon be taken off the field due to injury, his replacement wasted no time getting involved.
Just moments after coming on the field, player-of-the-match Max Hatley extended Australia’s lead, with the team up 3-0 at the break.
In the second half it was more of the same from the Aussies, with goals to Nestory Irankunda, Andriano Lebib, Campbell Dovison, Miguel Di Pizio, a second to Hatley and a brace to Tiago Quintal rounding out the convincing win.
“Most of these players met (Cambodia) in the AFF tournament a couple of months ago so to turn that result around I think was big,” Maloney said.
“It’s great to see the fans come out, the local community and get behind the team.”
For Cambodia the result rules out qualification from the group, however coach Inoue Kazunori said his side was learning a lot.
“This match and Wednesday’s match was a good opportunity for our players,” Kazunori said.
“This is a national match and they are national players, they have to have responsibility as national team, from now we have to condition for the next game and we want to win our last match.”
Just two games remain in the AFC U-17 Asian Cup Qualifiers in Shepparton, with Australia to take on China and Cambodia to face off with the Northern Mariana Islands on Sunday.
The man in the middle for Australia, Di Pizio was full of class on Friday night. Scoring a late goal, Di Pizio pulled the strings in the midfield, with a good first touch and plenty of skill helping him stand out.
Cambodia – 0 lt Australia – 10 (Own Goal 5′, Glasson 13′, Hately 36′, 73′, Irankunda 49′, Lebib 52′, Quintal 72′, 81′, Dovison 77′, Di Pizio 90′)
Player-of-the-match: Max Hately (Australia)
Sunday, October 9
3pm, Australia v China PR
7.30pm, Cambodia v Northern Mariana Islands
Daniel is a passionate sports fan and proud Tasmanian.
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