Maclaren hails Glory after smashing start for Olyroos


Hat-trick hero Jamie Maclaren said his Hyundai A-League form was the key behind his scintillating start to the AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers with the Olyroos.

MATCH REPORT: Olyroos hit Hong Kong for six

Maclaren grabbed a second half treble as Aurelio Vidmar’s side made the perfect start to the tournament with a 6-0 drubbing of Hong Kong in Chinese Taipei on Friday night. 

“I had a similar feeling three years ago against Indonesia and recently with the goals I’ve been scoring in the A-League, it’s good for my confidence,” Maclaren said ahead of Sunday’s match against the host nation.

“To get three goals for my country is a feeling I can’t explain. It’s amazing and we’ll just move on to the next game.”

Asked the areas the side must improve on for the Chinese Taipei clash, Maclaren said: “We all stuck to the game plan so not really much needs to be improved.

“The chances we had we basically buried. We can be more ruthless in front of goal with an extra few chances against better teams.

“But definitely the performance the way Hong Kong sat back with six defenders was very good.

“The boys are buzzing to be back winning games.”

Following the clash with hosts Chinese Taipei on Sunday night, the Olyroos final match in this qualification phase is against Myanmar on 31 March.

The AFC U-23 Championship, which will be played in Qatar in January 2016, doubles as the qualification tournament for the 2016 Olympic Games, with the top three ranked teams stamping their ticket for Brazil. 

To progress to the AFC U-23 Championship the Olyroos need to top their Group F in Chinese Taipei, or be one of the best five second place teams.