The Olyroos have been beaten 2-0 by Korea Republic in a friendly on Friday night as both sides ramp up preparations for January’s AFC U-23 Championship.
Australia’s U-23 side conceeded an early goal in Hwaseong after a break down the wing was cut back and neatly finished by the hosts.
The Aussies came close to equalising soon after when Andrew Hoole, who was a late addition to the starting line-up after Kwame Yeboah picked up an injury in the warm-up, had a shot cleared off the line.
Instead it was Korea Republic who doubled their advantage just shy of the half-hour when their captain Jeimin Yeon made the most of some messy play in the box with a well guided strike.
The Olyroos carved out several chances after the interval but couldn’t find the goal they needed to get themselves back in the match despite Hoole and Ryan Edwards going close.
Coach Aurelio Vidmar rang the changes with 20 minutes to play, making six substitutions as Australia chased the game.
The result was some expansive football in the closing stages, with both sides wasteful of several chances as play went end-to-end in the energy sapping heat.
Goalkeeper Jack Duncan pulled off three top notch saves to ensure the deficit wasn’t greater, while at the other end Awer Mabil hit the cross-bar from inside the six-yard box with the last play of the game to underline the fact it just wasn’t the Olyroos night.
Speaking after the match Vidmar was left to rue his side's slow start despite knowing what to expect from their opposition.
"We started the game very nervously and made quite a few errors in the first ten, 15 minutes," said Vidmar
"We seemed to continue to do that for quite a while until we settled down but before we knew it we were two goals down.
"They (Korea Republic) have a very good team and I know they had some players missing as well so they’re going to be very strong.
"They’re very good technically and very strong but that’s what we expect from this team."
The sides will meet again in Incheon in three days time, with a strong showing at next year’s AFC tournament in Qatar the priority.
Last weekend’s draw saw the Olyroos grouped with the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and Jordan at the 16 team tournament, which will see the top three sides qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
Korea Republic U-23 2
Australia U-23 0