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Joeys to miss 2013 Under-17 World Cup after exit in Iran

Joeys to miss 2013 Under-17 World Cup after exit in Iran


Australia will not participate in the 2013 tournament in the United Arab Emirates, having lost in the quarter-finals of the AFC Under-16 Championship on Sunday Indonesia   By GOAL.COM

Australia have failed to qualify for the 2013 Fifa Under-17 World Cup after falling 5-1 to Iran in the quarter-finals of the 2012 AFC U16 Championship in Tehran on Sunday.

The Joeys were humbled by the free-scoring hosts, who pushed on from a 2-0 lead at the break to stroll past their Alastair Edwards' side.

An 88th-minute strike from Bai Antoniou was scant consolation for Australia, whose defeat was emphasised by Reza Karmollachaab's second strike deep into extra time.

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The Joeys had met Iran in the final eight after a penalty shootout was needed to decide the winner of Group B in their final group match, with Iraq progressing top at Australia's expense.

A crowd of almost 4,000 cheered on Iran in the quarter-final, helping the hosts as they reached the semis and claimed qualification to the World Cup.

"Of course we had hoped we would qualify and we didn't expect such a result but Iran played a high-pressure game and didn't allow us to get into our rhythm," Edwards said.

"We made too many mistakes at times but again this was mainly down to Iran's pressure.

"All games in the tournament have been difficult and on another day we could have won the penalty shootout against Iraq [in the final group game].

"But it would have been tough playing Kuwait as well. At the end of the day Iran played much better than us and deserved their victory.

"I am happy for Iran but also proud of my players. Apart from the match today I think we had a good tournament."

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