The hopes of a nation are still intact as Australia beat the United Arab Emirates 2-0 on Tuesday to reach the 2015 Asian Cup final on home soil.
First half goals from Trent Sainsbury and Jason Davidson did the damage as the Socceroos were 2-0 up inside the first 15 minutes during their first match in Newcastle in nearly 20 years. Australia have never won the Asian Cup title and have only reached the final on one previous occasion, losing to Japan 1-0 in 2011.
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Try as they might the UAE could not get back into the match, despite the best efforts of their dazzling playmaker Omar Abdulrahman, and they will now face Iraq in the third-place playoff game on Saturday in Newcastle.
The head coach of the Socceroos, Ange Postecoglou, was delighted with the fast start Tuesday’s semifinal as Australia will now face South Korea for the second time in the tournament. The Koreans beat Australia 1-0 during the group stage, and have made their first Asian Cup final since 1998, but can they do it again in front of a packed house in Sydney on Saturday against the hosts?