In their first match of the Women’s Asian Cup 2018, the Matildas met the Korea Republic in a scoreless draw.
Australia’s initial line-up included the return of Steph Catley into the fold as centre back and Hayley Raso as right back.
A notable name on the bench was Alanna Kennedy, who has become a staple in the starting XI during the recent Algarve Cup.
A highly physical tone was set for the match early on, with both sides going in strong.
One of Korea’s most formidable chances came in the fifth minute when Han Chae Rin’s corner floated to the far left post, where captain and defender Cho So-hyun was free.
It was a tense moment for Australia, tempered by a sloppy touch that saw them able to clear the ball quickly.
Moments later, Australia responded with Katrina Gorry tapping into the box to Lisa De Vanna.
The latter clattered with a defender and the ball rolled to Sam Kerr, whose shot deflected just wide of the post.
The dominant trend for the first half saw Australia in their attacking end, attempting to navigate an organised Korean defence.
Australia’s high press was often stifled by anywhere from eight to ten players behind the ball.
Quantity was not the only factor that locked the Matildas out.
Central defenders Lim Seon-joo and Kim Do-yeon worked quickly and positioned themselves well with many shots were deflected off of them.