Marco Djuricin was in the mood to savour a "great success" after his late penalty gave Austria victory against the Netherlands and third place in UEFA European Under-19 Championship Group A.
Andreas Heraf's young side therefore qualify for next year's FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colmobia at the expense of their opponents, an ambition Djuricin admitted had been their primary aim from the U19 finals. "I feel fantastic, we're so happy that we can go to the World Cup," he told UEFA.com. "It's a great compliment for this team, we played very well today. Of course we're very happy, we've reached our main objective – we're going to the World Cup."
Austria conceded eight goals in losing their first two games to England and France – including four in the final 24 minutes of the latter match – but Djuricin said the spirit in the camp had never wavered. "We deserved more against France; we did lose 5-0, but we played very well for the first 60 minutes," he said. "Against the Dutch we were the better team again. We were well structured and very disciplined; the coach told us to stay compact and we did. We needed some luck, but fortunately we won."
Djuricin's team-mate Marco Meilinger came on for the final quarter of the game, and paid tribute to the striker's composure in converting a spot kick won by Georg Teigl three minutes from time. "We created a lot of chances but didn't score," the FC Salzburg midfielder told UEFA.com. "At the end though, we got the penalty which Marco scored and that's a good feeling. We deserved it; the Netherlands' defence could maybe be better but going forward they're very good so they had lots of chances too. But we played well in the first game against England and did well against France for 60 minutes and finally we've managed to win this one."
While a smiling Meilinger offered only "no comment" when asked how the Austria squad would mark their achievement, the match-winner was slightly more expansive. "It's a great atmosphere right now," Djuricin added. "Getting to the World Cup is not a regular thing for Austria so of course we're delighted. This is a great success for us, the mood is fantastic and the team can celebrate what we've done."
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