Australian player Steve Kuzmanovski (left) celebrates with Joshua Andrew Hope after scoring against Thailand in Hanoi.
Australian player Steve Kuzmanovski (left) celebrates with Joshua Andrew Hope after scoring against Thailand in Hanoi. LUONG THAI LINH

Coach delighted with form of young Roos

FOOTBALL: Young Socceroos coach Ufuk Talay says winning the AFF Under-19 Championship is perfect preparation for the AFC Under-19 Championships in Bahrain next month.

Australia reversed a 5-1 defeat to Thailand in the group stages of the competition to win the final by the same scoreline, with Talay delighted to have got the result.

"For us, to come to the AFF (tournament) it was very important to get quality games,” he said.

"We got seven quality games.

"It was very important to not focus on the result but focus on the performance leading into Bahrain.”

Steve Kuzmanovski scored a brace for the Aussies, while skipper George Blackwood, Kearyn Baccus and Joseph Champness all hit the target in the easy win.

Australia surged to a 2-0 lead at the break before piling on three more goals in the second half, but Talay a former A-League player with Sydney FC and North Queensland Fury, said the players had to work hard for the success.

"There's no easy games,” he said.

"Thailand is a good team.

"We set up a little bit differently from the first time we played them in the group stage. We created a lot of opportunities in the first half.

"I think we could have been up 6-0 at half-time but we didn't convert.

"I think the boys were very disciplined when we didn't have the ball.

"Overall, I thought it was a good game for us.”

The AFC Under-19 Championships are in Bahrain from October 13-30.


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