Dylan Pierias and Lachie Wales feature in Olyroos friendly


Dylan Pierias and Lachie Wales both got some valuable minutes ahead of the Olympic Games as the Olyroos faced New Zealand in a pre-tournament friendly.

Pierias started the match and played the entire first half, while Wales came on at half-time and played the second 45 minutes as the Olyroos went down 2-0 in the match.

New Zealand’s star striker Chris Wood, who plays in the Premier League for Burnley, opened the scoring in the second half before a late strike from Elijah Just consolidated the win for New Zealand.

Pierias was involved early on down the right-hand side, creating the first opening with a cross into the box that just evaded Mitch Duke up front.

Wales entered into the front three to good effect in the second half, coming as close as anyone else to adding a goal for the Graham Arnold’s side.

The 23-year-old linked up well with Connor Metcalfe just past the hour but saw his subsequent shot by a New Zealand defence boasting Winston Reid, a Premier League player of 166 appearances for West Ham United.

Wales had another attempt in injury time, with a header from a Reno Piscopo cross saved by the New Zealand goalkeeper.

The Olyroos will become further acquainted with their trans-Tasman neighbours with another friendly scheduled for Thursday July 15.

This is all in preparation for the Olympic Games campaign that will begin on July 22, with Australia drawn in Group C.

The first group stage match will pit Australia against Argentina before a tough test against Spain, with six players in the Spanish squad coming straight in from the Euro 2020 campaign that saw them reach the semi-finals.

The Olyroos will end the group stages with a clash against Egypt on Wednesday July 28, with the team all set to compete in the Olympic Games for the first time since Beijing 2008.