Having worn criticism for his reliance on older players, it appears - after his inexperienced side defeated South Korea 2-1 - Osieck now has his trust in youth
|By PADDY HIGGS
Chief Editor | Goal Australia
Youth will stay a prominent part of Holger Osieck's plans for Australia, with the Socceroos coach pleased his inexperienced squad were able to see off South Korea 2-1 on Wednesday.
Both nations elected to leave out a host of prominent players in order to give their next generations a chance in the friendly in Hwaseong, with Australia prevailing after maiden international goals from Nikita Rukavytsya and Robbie Cornthwaite eclipsed Lee Dong-Gook's opener for the hosts.
The performances of the goalscorers, full-back Ryan McGowan, central midfielder James Holland and winger Tommy Oar have given Osieck confidence he has satisfactory depth where he perhaps previously believed there to be little.
The German also handed debuts to four players from the bench - full-back Aziz Behich, attacking midfielder Tom Rogic and forwards Eli Babalj and Mathew Leckie.
It may prove important come EAFF East Asian Cup qualifiers in December, with Osieck unlikely to be able to call on a host of regulars.
"I thought this game would be a good opportunity for both teams to test and we played well, as I expected," he told reporters after the match. "I want to create bright future with young players."
With youth came speed for the Socceroos, and it was an aspect of his side's game of which Osieck made particular note: "Our speed of attack was satisfying. We've played this way so far. Our combination worked well and led to goals," he said.
Affording opportunities to fringe players was also a goal of South Korea Choi Kang-Hee, though he was less enamoured with the results than counterpart Osieck.
"I'm disappointed with defeat even though this is just friendly," he told reporters.
"But our players prepared well for this match in short term. Some players did well and others were not as good as expected. It's important for us to prepare for next year when we play World Cup qualifiers again."