Why we should be proud of the Joeys and excited for the future

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The Joeys may not have had their best game against France, but Australia should be proud of the side after their World Cup exploits in Brazil.

Before the knockout match against the French, goalkeeper Adam Pavlesic said he believed the squad had not played a bad game and all things point to this being correct.

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The Joeys started slowly against Colombia and Hungary, after going down by two goals in both games but fought back in an attempt to gain something out of it.

Despite losing 2-1 at the hands of Colombia, the Joeys showed quality throughout the game and finished strong but could not find the elusive equalizing goal.

Against Hungary, it was a similar story except this time they could have won. The Joeys began slowly but went on to dominate the game. They had double the amount of shots but quality saves from the Hungarian keeper prevented them from grabbing a winner.

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In their final group stage game against Nigeria, the result finally fell the way of the Joeys. A brace from star forward Noah Botic handed the side three points and safe passage to the round of 16.

In this game, Nigeria were on top of the Joeys for a large majority of the game. Quality defending and quality goalkeeping from Adam Pavlesic let the Joeys hang on for an incredible win against the side with the most success in the U17 World Cup.

Despite losing by four goals to the French, the Joeys put in a quality performance. They went into the half time break only down by one, but a red card to centre back Anton Mlinaric effectively ended all hopes of a result.

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Had it not been for the unfortunate send-off, the Joeys could have been looking at a different result.

There were still moments of quality all over the park in the first half. They could have easily headed into the half-time break up by a goal but quality saves from France’s Melvin Zinga, saw both Cameron Peupion and Ali Auglah denied almost certain goals.

What the Joeys showed in their World Cup performances is they can play quality football. They showed they can compete alongside top teams and not back down.

The future is bright for Australian football and fans should be proud of what the Joeys did in Brazil.

Feature Image Credit: Brook Mitchell

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Declan Smith
Current Sports Media student at University of Canberra. Average footballer