Australia Aiming to Break Asian Cup Drought but Korea Republic Ready to Stop Socceroos
January 28, 2015
Nobody in the country will care how the Socceroos do it as long as they’ve lifted the Asian Cup come late Saturday night! Honestly we’ll take a nil nil bore draw, followed by an extra time stalemate, as long as we win on penalties. This is a tournament Australia were expected to dominate since our inaugural Asian Cup campaign in 2007 but the Socceroos are yet to become Champions of Asia. After agony against Japan in the 2011 final it’ surely Australia’s time to take out the title. The host team parading the trophy in front of its adoring fans would be a fitting finish to a fascinating competition but Korea republic are ready to spoil the party.
Koreans Keen to Continue Winning Streak
Korea Republic are the only undefeated team left in tournament having beaten Australia in the group phrase. Since finishing top of Group A ‘The Reds’ have beaten Uzbekistan 2 nil in the quarter finals and Iraq by the same score line in their semi final. In fact not only are the Koreans the only unbeaten side they’re also the only team yet to concede a goal. In 450 minutes of football nobody has managed to breach their defence. 5 games, 5 wins and 5 clean sheets; it’s been a perfect tournament by Korea Republic so far.
Awesome Attack versus Dominant Defence
While Korea Republic may boats the best defence, Australia are the Asian Cup’s strongest attacking team. The Socceroos have scored 12 goals in the tournament, five more than their opponents, who are the third highest scorers. The home nation has had 10 different scorers in the competition so far with midfielders, forwards and fullbacks all finding the back of the net. It appears the Socceroos have rediscovered their scoring boots this year, after just 3 players combined for a total of just 12 goals in all of 2014.
Re-match Means Much More
While the free scoring Socceroos couldn’t strike gold against Korea Republic in their earlier encounter, Australia aren’t reading too much into that result. Coach Ange Postecoglou will play a vastly different team to the eleven that started the 1 nil loss in Brisbane, after he rested several key names with Australia already through to the knock out phase. What the hosts can take from the match is the knowledge that their opposition are happy to play without the ball. The Koreans had less than a third of possession in the game but still managed the vital goal.
Australia were pre-tournament favourites with Japan to win the Cup and it’s no secret expectations grew even higher when Asia’s top ranked team were bundled out in the quarter finals. So far the Socceroos have handled the hype well under immense pressure from fans an experts. After shaky starts in all 3 of their group games the Roos have been better beginners in the sudden death stage, which has helped settle the nerves. An early goal for either side in the final would make for an entertaining match. If Australia score first it’ll force their opponents to push the pace while (heaven forbid) if Korea Republic get the game’s opener the Socceroos will somehow, in some way need to equalise.
90 minutes, perhaps more, separates these two teams from the ultimate glory but only one can be crowned Kings of Asia. Korea Republic who finished third in 2011 are aiming for their third title after success in 1956 and 1960. But Australians are hoping their 13th appearance in the Asian Cup is an unlucky omen.