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Brandon O'Neill challenges Hwang Inbeom. Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

West Aussie duo make Socceroos debuts

Football Federation Australia News

West Australians Brandon O’Neill and Ryan Williams made their Australia debuts in the Caltex Socceroos’ 1-0 loss to Korea Republic in Busan.

Adam Taggart also figured in Friday night’s international friendly, which was settled by Hwang Ui-jo’s solitary strike 15 minutes from time.

Australia created several good opportunities against the Taeguk Warriors – and hit the post early on through Mitch Duke – but fell behind when substitutes Hong Chul and Hwang combined to give Korea Republic the lead.

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Socceroos and Korea Republic players shake hands afer the match. Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Duke, leading the line in his first appearance for the Caltex Socceroos since September 2013, came within centimetres of capitalising on an enterprising start from Graham Arnold’s side with a glancing header from O’Neill’s corner which bounced off the foot of the post.


The Western Sydney Wanderers forward had earlier flashed a warning shot wide, while FC Midtjylland attacker Awer Mabil stung the palms of Korea keeper Kim Seung-gyu after volleying Craig Goodwin’s clipped pass across goal at the back post.

Vissel Kobe keeper Seung-gyu was by far busier than opposite number Andrew Redmayne, with the debutant No.1 not facing a single shot from Paulo Bento’s side until he  collected a deflected free-kick from Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-min on the hour mark.

Korea Republic and Tottenham star Son Heung-min applauds fans after his side’s 1-0 win over the Socceroos. Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

But Hwang, who scored in November’s 1-1 draw with Australia in Brisbane, made himself the 75th minute match-winner in Busan by latching onto Hong’s cross at the near post.

Ryan Williams’ brother Rhys Williams was an unused substitute.