The Qantas Socceroos got their first taste of East Asian Cup football on Monday and that should stand them in good stead against Korea DPR.
Korea DPR v Australia Date: Wednesday December 5 Kick-off: 11.30pm AEDT Venue: Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong
Head-to-head First-ever meeting
Watch the live stream live on footballaustralia.com.au
Past five matches: Korea DPR: Korea DPR 5-0 Guam, East Asian Cup Qualifier, Hong Kong, December 3 2012 Chinese Taipei 1-6 Korea DPR, East Asian Cup Qualifier, Hong Kong, December 1 2012 Indonesia 0-2 Korea DPR, International friendly, Jakarta, September 10 2012 Turkmenistan 1-2 Korea DPR, AFC Challenge Cup, Kathmandu, March 19 2012 Korea DPR 2-0 Palestine, AFC Challenge Cup, Kathmandu, March 16 2012
Australia: Hong Kong 0-1 Australia, East Asian Cup Qualifier, Hong Kong, December 3 2012 Korea Republic 1-2 Australia, International friendly, Hwaseong, November 14 2012 Iraq 1-2 Australia, World Cup Qualifier, Doha, October 17 2012 Jordan 2-1 Australia, World Cup Qualifier, Amman, September 12 2012 Lebanon 0-3 Australia, International friendly, Tripoli, September 7 2012
Analysis: The Qantas Socceroos got their first taste of East Asian Cup football on Monday and that should stand them in good stead against Korea DPR.
A largely inexperienced Australian side were thwarted for much of the match as hosts Hong Kong adopted a disciplined approach on a pitch resembling a cow paddock at Mong Kok Stadium.
Australia eventually made the breakthrough when veteran Socceroo Brett Emerton unleashed a powerful shot past Hong Kong goalkeeper Yapp Hung Fai with six minutes remaining.
Brisbane Roar duo Matt Smith and Ivan Franjic, Newcastle Jets striker Adam Taggart and Sydney FC midfielder Terry Antonis were all handed Socceroos debuts in the scrappy win.
Teenage prodigy Tomas Rogic was deployed for a 10-minute cameo and made an instant impact through the midfield, with his first touch of the ball resulting in a shot on goal.
While hoping for better playing conditions on Wednesday, Holger Osieck's men can expect more of the same against a Korea DPR side not short of confidence.
North Korea have played one extra game than the Socceroos and top the standings after thrashing Chinese Taipei 6-1 and Guam 5-0.
Surprisingly for the Koreans, Defender Myong-Jun Ri has burst on the scene with four goals in his first two games for the country.
The Daugava Daugavpils centre-half bagged a brace in each of North Korea's opening two fixtures against Chinese Taipei and Guam, sending him to the top of the qualifying tournament's goalscoring charts.
Led by Jong-Su Yun, North Korea are unbeaten in their past 11 international fixtures - winning nine and drawing twice.
North Korea, who qualified for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa where they faced powerhouse nations Brazil, Portugal and Ivory Coast, have not tasted defeat since they were beaten 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier against Uzbekistan in November last year.
Australia (33) may sit 48 positions above North Korea (81) in the FIFA world rankings, but their opponents will be no pushovers.
The Socceroos will close out the qualifying tournament with matches against Guam and Chinese Taipei as they look to qualify for 2013 East Asian Cup finals, which is scheduled for July next year in South Korea.