Hall moves closer to Rio 2016 with Olyroos


Adelaide United’s John Hall is a step closer to Rio 2016 after the Olyroos advanced to next year’s AFC U-23 Championship on Tuesday.

Hall featured in-between the sticks for the game which the Olyroos defeated Myanmar 5-1 overnight following victories over Hong Kong (6-0) on Friday and Chinese Taipei (4-0) on Sunday to progress as winners of Group F.

The Olyroos will now face the likes of Japan, Korea Republic, Iraq and UAE in the AFC U-23 Championship in Qatar in January next year, which is the final round of qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games.

“The players were brilliant on and off the field and deserve the success they had,” Olyroos head coach Aurelio Vidmar said.

“We played some good football and controlled all three matches but the way they bought into what we are trying to achieve across all the national teams was outstanding.

“We created an identical structure and atmosphere to what has been successful for the Socceroos and the players and staff were thoroughly professional to ensure we won three games in five days under testing conditions.”

While heaping praise on the Olyroos, Vidmar urged the players to remain focussed with the tough part of qualification still to come in January 2016.

“The last week has been great, a good start, but we still have some work to do if we want to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio,” Vidmar added.

“The players need to go back to their clubs and continue to work hard and get as much game time as possible so we can move into the final round of qualifiers in Qatar next January ready for what will be a tougher test.

“All of the big nations have progressed so we can expect a tough tournament but if we continue the professionalism and play to our potential we are capable of finishing in the top three and playing at the Olympic Games.”

Australia will join the other nine group winners, five best second-placed teams and hosts Qatar at the AFC U-23 Championship 2016.