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We’ve got to keep working, says Australia hero D’Agostino


Bangkok: Nicholas D’Agostino has urged Australia to keep working hard after his strike against Uzbekistan in the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 third place play-off match took the Olyroos to the Tokyo Olympics.

D’Agostino’s solo run in the 47th minute proved to be the difference as Australia won 1-0 at the Rajamangala Stadium on Saturday to join Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia and hosts Japan as Asia’s representatives at Tokyo 2020.

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“So happy. We set out wanting to win the tournament but unfortunately we got beaten by Korea Republic, which wasn’t fun, but the boys showed the Australian fight once again and came back from that loss, and had a great performance tonight,” said the Perth Glory player, who had seen a fifth minute effort disallowed against Uzbekistan.

“My family, my club back home, all the boys, coaching staff and all the support from everyone here kept pushing us the whole time. We finally achieved it and it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. Just so happy."

“We just had to keep believing. We knew that we played good football. We knew we had great players and everyone came to do their job. We came out after half-time and kept playing the way we wanted to play.

“Luckily we scored and obviously they got the red card, which didn’t help them, but the boys showed a fight to hold on till the last kick of the game.”

Australia’s Thailand 2020 journey may be over, but the Tokyo Olympics awaits them, and D’Agostino - who ended his campaign with three goals - urged his teammates to continue working hard.

“We need to improve everyday if we can, and try to get as much game time as we can with our clubs and keep improving as players.

"We’ve got the quality, so we want to go to the Olympics and put on a show for the Australian people.”

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