Socceroos tyros out to impress in Seoul

July 27, 2013
By Angela Habashy

Australia's East Asian Cup clash against China on Sunday represents one last shot for several tyros to impress Holger Osieck before returning to their clubs.

With Osieck to field a new-look starting side, several players are set to make their Socceroo debuts.

And Osieck will be eager to see what they're are made of against a Chinese team who need victory at Seoul's Jamsil Stadium to have any chance of winning the tournament they won in 2010.

China are the only nation in the four-team tournament who have not qualified for the next year's World Cup and, unlike hosts South Korea, Japan and Australia, are the only full-strength side in the competition.

With Australia already out of contention, Osieck will try out new players.

And while he says he won't change the entire starting side, the likes of Josh Brilliante, Connor Pain,Trent Sainsbury and keeper Mark Birighitti are all in line for their first cap.

Craig Goodwin, who along with Tomi Juric, Erik Paartalu and Mitch Nichols have had limited game time in the two matches so far, are also likely to get a run while Robert Cornthwaite, Aaron Mooy and Adam Taggart - all yet to play in the tournament - should also see some action.

Pain was briefly released from the squad last week to play in Melbourne Victory's sold-out MCG clash against English giants Liverpool.

And having earned praise for his performance from many including Reds' coach Brendan Rodgers, Pain is hoping to use the momentum of the strong showing if he gets a run against China.

"It was really indescribable, running out in front of 95,000 at the G with You'll Never Walk Alone playing and that many people singing," he said.

"Brendan Rodgers had a few nice words to say to me at the end. It's always nice when someone of his calibre praises you.

"It was the best of both worlds being able to play in the Liverpool game and come back and be a part of this squad."

Newcastle Jets striker Taggart, who made his debut in the East Asian Cup qualifying campaign in Hong Kong in December, is another hoping to get some game time.

"Obviously everyone who's been on the bench so far would be hopeful to get a run," he said.

"It's another opportunity for us all to show what we can do in front of Holger on the national level."

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