Asian foursome book Chile 2015 ticket
Australia, Korea Republic, Syria and Korea DPR all booked a spot at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup by reaching the semi-finals of the AFC U-16 Championship, seeing off Malaysia, Japan, Uzbekistan and Iran in their respective quarter-finals.
Malaysia took a surprise lead against the Joeys in their last eight game, with Kogileswaran Raj putting his side ahead on the half-hour mark at the Muangthong Stadium in Bangkok. Australia were swift to reply, Cameron Joice putting Tony Vidmar's side level within five minutes before Daniel Maskin struck 15 minutes from time to see the Aussies to a 2-1 win.
Vidmar, who represented his country over 70 times in a 15-year international career, is already looking ahead to the global finals next year.
"The goal was to reach the World Cup playing good, attacking-based possession football," Vidmar told the AFC's official website. "We still have a lot to learn and can be naïve, but we have 12 months of preparation for the World Cup now."
At the Rajamangala Stadium across the city, a goal either side of half-time from Barcelona's Lee Seungwoo saw Korea Republic to a 2-0 victory over Japan. In Sunday's second set of semi-finals, Syria saw off Uzbekistan 5-2 in impressive fashion, while Korea DPR and Iran battled to a scoreless draw only for the North Koreans to emerge 4-2 victors in penalty shootout.
Korea Republic will face Syria in the first semi-final on Wednesday, 17 September before Australia battle Korea DPR in the nightcap at the Rajamangala Stadium. The two winners will face off in the final next weekend on 20 September.