The Socceroos’ 2013 East Asian Cup hopes will go on the line tonight when they face the freewheeling DPR Korea in Hong Kong.
The match begins at 11.30pm AEDT, and we’ll have live scores and commentary from kick-off.
After 5-0 and 6-1 wins over Guam and Chinese Taipei respectively it is safe to say the DPR Korea stand as the side most likely to edge out Australia for the fourth 2013 East Asian Cup spot.
Given the Socceroos’ scratchy 1-0 over Hong Kong on Monday night, where they needed an 86th-minute goal from Brett Emerton to seal all three points, it is reasonable to be cautious of the Koreans.
But all is not lost for the Socceroos. It must be noted that the surface of Mong Kok Stadium was hardly fit for a Sunday league game let alone a competitive international fixture.
The Socceroos still managed to pass the ball around reasonably well and as a makeshift side, will have learnt a great deal.
With Richard Garcia playing the majority of Monday night’s match and Brett Emerton working tirelessly for 90 minutes Holger Osieck may elect to make changes.
Even in a 10-minute period in which he was used as a substitute, Tom Rogic still managed to light up the game, and fellow young gun Aaron Mooy could also step into the middle of the park.
Given the relative anonymity of Chinese Taipei and Guam it is difficult to know exactly how well the Koreans are travelling.
That said, the Socceroos will need to lift to find all three points and set one foot in the door of qualification.