Graham Arnold's side raced into a 2-0 lead through a brace from Brisbane Roar forward Nick D'Agostino, the former an early tap-in from a deflected Lachy Wales cross and the latter a cracking shot blasted past the Korean keeper from an acute angle.

While the Australians' first two clear chances were both converted, it was a promising enough beginning against a classy Korean side to allow a little optimism to creep into the hearts of success-starved Olyroos fans.

Was this to be a watershed moment for Australian youth football? In Arnie, had Australia (re)discovered a gaffer experienced enough to reinvigorate a youth system near-universally lacking?

Alas, any ill-conceived confidence was short lived.

The South Koreans hit back nearly immediately through Cho Young Wook and after dominating from the minute the Aussies' second hit the net, eventually drew even through a devastatingly accurate, first-time side foot from Lee Donggyeong.

It was only after the Koreans' equaliser that Australia recovered any foothold in the match, with the Taeguk Warriors clearly content to sit on an automatic qualification place after a shaky beginning nearly wiped them out.

Australia, for their part, looked similarly content with hedging their bets on settling for a draw. In an almost comical end to the match, for the final 10 minutes the Olyroos passed the ball back and forth, largely between a deep-sitting Aiden O'Neill and Thomas Deng, to the ire and eventual boos of the crowd.