Zadkovich impresses in Australian warm up clash
Rams Australian midfielder Ruben Zadkovich has impressed in the Olyroos final warm up match before the Beijing Olympic Games, but his good performance couldn't help them to victory as they were defeated 1-0 by Korea Republic.
A well taken shot midway through the first half by Young-Rok Shin was enough to send home happy a crowd of 20,533 from a balmy evening at the Seoul World Cup Stadium. Olyroos striker Nikita Rukavytsya forced an early save from goalkeeper You-Gual Song before the two sides traded opportunities. Korea gained the upper hand after 24 minutes when Shin placed past a diving Adam Federici from 11-metres. The Rams new recruit, Zadkovich, went close with a powerful shot from eight-yards which was parried out by Song, while late in the half Sung-Yueng Ki flashed the ball just high of the crossbar.
The second half had the Olyroos in control of the game; however it was the host nation who went close on the hour when Ki was thwarted by Federici in a one-on-one. Rukavytsya was unlucky not to get on the score sheet in the 68th minute by beating substitute 'keeper Sung-Ryong Jung only to see the ball ricochet off the post. Australia's quest for a late equaliser had substitutes James Troisi and Matt Simon each sting the gloves of Jung. With regulation time running out, Ki charged forward to send the ball past Federici but a fast tracking Zadkovich sensationally cleared his shot off the line.
Australian Coach Graham Arnold was philosophical about his team's performance.
"Some of our players now realise the difference in tempo between the A-League and international level football. At this level you can't afford to make errors, not finish your opportunities and still expect to get results.
"We have a week until our first game against Serbia in Shanghai and now we can purely focus on fine tuning our tactics for that match," explained Arnold.
The Qantas under 23s be part of the Athletes Village in Beijing for two days before heading to Shanghai on Sunday to prepare for their opening match of the 2008 Olympic Games against Serbia at Shanghai Stadium on Thursday 7 August.
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