Suk Hyunjun (left) of Korea Republic in action against Mark Milligan (right) of the Socceroos.
Suk Hyunjun (left) of Korea Republic in action against Mark Milligan (right) of the Socceroos.

Arnold takes blame for defensive blunder

SOCCEROOS coach Graham says he's to blame defensive "sloppiness" that hurt Australia in its 1-1 draw against South Korea at Suncorp Stadium last night.

It took a stoppage-time equaliser from midfielder Massimo Luongo to ensure the Socceroos weren't beaten by the understrength Koreans, who were without seven first-team regulars, including English Premier League pair Son Heung-min and Ki Sung-yueng.

The Socceroos dominated early but failed to fire in front of goal, and their pressing of the Koreans left them exposed at the back in the 22nd minute when Hwang Ui-jo put the visitors ahead.

The hosts were brought undone by a long ball from defender Kim Min-jae, which caught Australia napping at the back.

Hwang got the better of Socceroos defender Trent Sainsbury before finishing with poise past goalkeeper Mat Ryan.

"It's probably good that it happened because it gives us something to look at and work on," Arnold said ahead Tuesday night's clash against Lebanon in Sydney and January's Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

"It's my responsibility that everything we've been doing is pressing, attacking, and their (defender) smashes one ball long and these things happen.

"I haven't had the opportunity to work on our rest defence, so I take total responsibility of the sloppiness at times of that.

"When you only have three days, four days … we have worked a lot with the ball, and I think you can see that with the ball.

"There's still obviously some rhythm to come, but we'll build on that for sure."

Socceroos captain and Sainsbury's central defensive partner Mark Milligan said his team would work hard on ensuring they would not be again caught out by a long pass from the back.

"We just need to make sure we don't get done cheaply like that again," Milligan said.

"It was a long ball up front … it was a split-second timing thing, it's just gone through.

"For the most part they tried that long ball a few times and we dealt with it quite well."

Milligan said he and Sainsbury were developing well as a central defensive pairing.

"I have a very good understanding where Trent is, even when I'm not facing him, so I think we have a good understanding of the way that each of us play and what we expect," he said.

"I'm very happy with the way that partnership is bubbling along."