Australia’s youngsters go down 0-3 to Korea Republic

By Paul Green

Australia’s youngsters go down 0-3 to Korea Republic

Australia’s Under 16 boys met South Korea at Stadium Petaling Jaya in the opening game of their 2018 campaign in an evening match.

It wasn’t a great start for Australia who never really got going against Korea Republic in their opening match.

The Koreans had Australia on the back foot for most of the game and after squandering a hateful of chances in the first 20 minutes their over-eager strikers settled better and finally took the lead in the 43rd with an angled finish from Choi Minseo in an attack that came as a culmination of repetitive pressure from his team.

Australia keeper Ahmad Taleb was generally sound and made a couple of useful saves, needing to get down low in the 45th to save from Hong Yunsang, having earlier pushed away a potent free-kick from Choi in the 27th.

Right on half-time Australia had perhaps their only real chance of the game when Tristan Hammond wriggled his way through from his position wide on the right to fire in a rasping shot that the Korea keeper barely got his finger tips to and thus keep his side in front.

In the second-half Korea continued to control the game throughout and extended their lead in the 52nd after a bad blunder on half-way saw possession given away to Hong Yunsang.

The Korea Republic striker went through the Australian defence cleverly before slamming home from close range.

A third goal arrived in the 68th through the same player with another easy finish.

It was a very disappointing performance by the youngsters from Australia, but a fine one indeed from Korea Republic who may well prove the testing material for the rest of the tournament.

Elsewhere on the day their two remaining opponents, Iraq and Afghanistan, met during the afternoon.

After this Australia meet Iraq on Tuesday at UM Arena in an afternoon match, kick-off 430pm

Iraq’s whose opening match against Afghanistan was closer than expected and who scraped home 2-1. It was a match which many observers felt Afghanistan may well have been able to upset their better-credentialed opponents with a better share of good fortune.