DPR Korea stun the Young Matildas in the opening match | Credit: Ann Odong
The Young Matildas have been defeated 6-2 by DPR Korea in their opening match of the AFC U19 Championships at Jiangsu Football Training Base Stadium in Nanjing, China.
Two goals in the first 20 minutes put Australia on the back foot and, despite goals from Chloe Logarzo and Hayley Raso both halves, DPR Korea goals at regular intervals kept Australia out of the game.
"It’s certainly a wakeup call for the team," said Young Matildas head coach Spencer Prior.
"DPR Korea was a different class today. It was as simple as us just being outplayed across the park. We can’t afford to make errors like we did today against opposition like this."
One of the powerhouses at the U/20 age group, DPR Korea started the match strongly when Kim So Hyang took advantage of a botched defensive clearance to turn the loose ball home from two yards out.
Australia’s situation worsened in the 13th minute as the sharp Koreans took control of the match through a Ri Un Sim goal with the striker eluding an onrushing Arnold to tuck home at the far post.
Facing a two goal deficit, Australia began to rally with captain Chloe Logarzo leading the way. Five minutes from half time Logarzo was in the midst of the action with a darting run that only ended when she was brought down on the edge of the penalty area.
20 yards out, the midfielder struck a brilliant free kick to the far post to pull one back for the Young Matildas to leave the scores 2-1 heading into half time.
On the restart DPR Korea once again jumped Australia with So Hyang netting her second of the match and restoring their two goal lead in the 52nd minute.
Australia looked to once again cut down the lead as Hayley Raso and substitute Georgia Yeoman-Dale combined will to force a big save from goalkeeper Kim Chol Ok at the near post.
The Koreans then put their foot on the accelerator with Un Sim converting pin point passes for two quick goals the 68th and 71st minute for her hattrick and to take the game away from the Young Matildas.
Australia netted a consolation goal in the 77th minute when Raso evaded two defenders to find herself one on one with goalkeeper Chol Ok before coolly slotting home into the bottom left corner.
Five minutes later DPR Korea completed their comprehensive victory with Un Sim turning home her fourth of the game and their a sixth past Arnold.
Despite the defeat Prior was optimistic for the tournament ahead.
"We will dust ourselves off and prepare for our next match against Japan on Sunday.
"With 12 points still up for grabs all is not lost."
Australia 2 (Logarzo 39’, Raso 77’)
DPR Korea 6
Date: Friday, 11 October 2013
Kick off: 4.30pm (local time) / 7.30pm (AEDST)
Stadium: Jiangsu Football Training Base Stadium
Referee: Qin Liang
Starting Line Up: 1. Mackenzie ARNOLD, 2. Rachael SOUTAR (5. Emma CHECKER 59’), 4. Grace FIELD, 7. Chloe LOGARZO, 8. Natalie TOBIN, 9. Olivia PRICE, 10. Hayley RASO, 12. Tara ANDREWS, 13. Meg MCLAUGLIN (3. Georgia YEOMAN-DALE 46’), 14. Elizabeth RALSTON, 15. Amy HARRISON (22. Larissa CRUMMER 71’)