Qantas Olyroos narrowly defeated by DPR Korea in opener

The Qantas Olyroos narrowly lost in their opening match of the Four Nations Tournament in Vietnam.

The Qantas Olyroos have been narrowly defeated 0-1 by DPR Korea in their opening match of the Four Nations International Tournament in Vietnam.

In extremely oppressive conditions, which saw the temperature over 30 degrees and 80% humidity, both teams shared possession for the opening 15 minutes of the match.

The only goal of the game came in the 16th minute after Scott Neville conceded a free kick just outside the box for a late tackle. The resulting free kick by Park Song Chol was placed over the Qantas Olyroos wall, shaved the left post and deflected into goal despite a valiant diving save by goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne.

Ten minute later the Qantas Olyroos had a chance to equalise in similar circumstances after Oliver Bozanic was fouled 30 metres out from the DPR Korea goal. Chris Payne stepped up to take the free kick and smashed his strike into the left post but unfortunately in this instance the ball rebounded out of play.

The Qantas Olyroos had another great chance to level the match shortly before half time when Diogo Ferreira in midfield played the ball wide to Scott Neville on the right. Neville attacked down the side-line and crossed a great ball back into Ferreira, who had followed the play down field. Ferreira was able to get his head to the ball, but his attempt went marginally wide of the goal.

The match conditions became slightly more bearable in the second half and shortly after the restart Tahj Minniecon made a great individual run through the front third of the field only to see his final attempt on goal from the edge of the box go wide of the right-hand post.

The Qantas Olyroos went on to dominate possession for the majority of second stanza, but although they created many opportunities were unable to find the back of the net.

James Brown had a final chance to equalise in the 84th minute, but his well struck, right-footed shot forced an extremely good save out of the DPR Korea goalkeeper to deny the Qantas Olyroos a point.

Speaking after the match, Qantas Olyroos Head Coach Aurelio Vidmar was happy with the overall performance of his team, but disappointed by the lack of finishing.

“I thought it was a very good performance for our first game together,” said Vidmar.

“The players executed the game plan very well after only being together for a short period.

“The disappointing part is that we had a lot of chances and we should have scored goals from these opportunities.

“But overall it was a pleasing performance with a lot of positives that we will take into our next match,” concluded Vidmar.

In the other match of the tournament, host nation Vietnam defeated Kuwait 3-0.

The Qantas Olyroos will meet Kuwait in their next match of the tournament on Wednesday evening, with their final match against Vietnam on Friday.

DPR Korea 1 (Park Song Chol 16-)

Qantas Olyroos 0 My Dinh Stadium, Hanoi

Qantas Olyroos line up: Andrew Redmayne, Luke DeVere, Antony Golec, Sebastian Ryall, Scott Neville, Tahj Minniecon (Jason Hoffman 56-), Oliver Bozanic, Chris Payne (Mirjan Pavlovic 75-), Isaka Cernak (Mitch Nichols 56-), Diogo Ferreira (Mate Dugandzic 71-), Marko Jesic (James Brown 71-)

Substitutes Not Used: Jerrard Tyson, Matthew Foschini, Matthew Jurman, Daniel Mullen

Yellow Cards: Scott Neville 16-, Luke DeVere 50-