PGFC Academy duo Daniel Walsh and Jayden Gorman both played their part as the Joeys secured a berth at next year’s FIFA Under-17 World Cup by downing Indonesia 3-2 in Malaysia.
The victory earned Trevor Morgan’s side a spot in the semi-finals of the AFC Under-16 Championship which in turn, locked in their spot as one of the four Asian teams who will head to Peru to take on the world in 2019.
After they fell behind early, Walsh got the Aussies back on level terms with a towering header from a Birkan Kirdar free-kick , while Gorman was introduced from the bench during the second half of what was a compelling contest at the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
And following the final whistle, coach Morgan was understandably full of praise for his young charges.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the group,” he said. “We had a slow start to the tournament with a loss against Korea Republic, however, since then we’ve shown quality and resilience to secure wins over Iraq, Afghanistan and Indonesia which has helped us achieve our first target of this Championship; a place at next year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup.”
“In a short period of time we have grown as a group and will now play Japan for a place in the final of the AFC U-16 Championship. “Japan will be an immensely tough opponent on Thursday, but we will enter the game with the belief that we can win the match and progress to the final.
“Qualification for next year’s World Cup in Peru will ensure more high-level international matches for this group of youngsters over the next 12 months, which will be critical to their development as footballers.
“While our focus must be on Thursday’s semi final, we must also recognise that qualification for the World Cup is an incredible achievement for everyone involved with the team and enjoy the moment.”