2015 Asian Cup

Australia beat South Korea in thrilling final to win first-ever Asian Cup title

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Australia rejoiced on Saturday as the Socceroos won their first-ever Asian Cup title by beating South Korea 2-1 after extra time in Sydney’s Olympic Stadium.

[ RELATED: Full Asian Cup coverage ]

The hosts, who lost to South Korea 1-o in their Group A encounter, went 1-0 up on the stroke of half time as player of the tournament Massimo Luongo finished superbly from the edge of the box. That goal was the first South Korea had conceded throughout the whole tournament, but they equalized in second-half stoppage time to take the game to extra time as Son Hyeung-min blasted home to make it 1-1.

Australia’s hero emerged in the 105th minute as James Troisi tapped home the winning goal following a wonderful piece of skill from Tomi Juric to set up the chance.

Since joining the Asian Confederation in 2006, Australia have their first title as they lost in the final to Japan 1-0 four years ago in Qatar. As for South Korea, they haven’t won the Asian Cup since 1960 and has now lost all of their last four finals.

In front of a packed crowd in Sydney, Australia claimed the title on home soil with Crystal Palace’s Mile Jedinak lifting the trophy plus veteran Tim Cahill, who is expected to retire from the Socceroos following this tournament, led the celebrations.

Below is a video of the celebrations, as a terrific competitions in Oz came to a close on Saturday.

Asian Cup final preview: Can Australian hosts deny South Korea’s first title since 1960?

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South Korea’s stingy defense goes up against Tim Cahill and high-powered host nation Australia in Saturday’s Asian Cup final, as a couple of rival nations look to make a bit of history at the other’s expense in Sydney.

The Socceroos haven’t won the Asian Cup in three tries since moving from the OFC to the AFC, while the Taegeuk Warriors won the first two editions of the tournament in 1956 and 1960 and are making their first final appearance since 1988.

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After scoring the most goals of any nation in the group stage with 8, Australia picked up a pair of 2-0 wins over China and UAE to make the fnal, and hopes to take the next step after finishing second in 2011.

South Korea, meanwhile, hasn’t allowed a single goal in the tournament, outscoring opponents 6-0 and handing Australia its only loss of the tournament.

Cahill has three goals in the tournament, while the Socceroos have received a single goal from nine other players in a bid to become the first hosts to win the Asian Cup since Japan in 1992.

Some are saying it could be the final international match for the New York Red Bulls attacker. He wouldn’t talk about that, but he’s fired up for the match (From the Associated Press):

“I play for these moments and I play to try and make a difference in Australian football,” Cahill said. “I’ve played in World Cups and all the other tournaments, but to play on home turf and to hopefully do something special and win a tournament like this, will definitely cap it off.”

Going to be a good early morning viewing here on the East Coast… of the U.S.

VIDEO: Hosts Australia set up Asian Cup final against South Korea

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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.

[ RELATED: Korea beat Iraq, make final ]

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?

VIDEO: South Korea beat Iraq to reach first Asian Cup final since 1998

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South Korea reached their first Asian Cup final since 1998, as they defeat Iraq 2-0 in the first semifinal of the 2015 tournament.

In front of plenty of South Korean fans in Sydney on Monday, youngster Lee Jeong-hyeop continued his fine tournament by scoring his second goal so far, as he headed the Koreans into the lead in the first half.

[ RELATED: Iraq beat Iran | Aussies make semis ]

Just after the break South Korea doubled their lead as Young-gwon’s low shot squirmed into the bottom corner after skipping off the greasy surface.

After beating Iran in an epic penalty shootout in the quarterfinals, Iraq could not launch a heroic comeback as their players looked drained from their last-eight exploits. As for the Korean defense, it had yet to be breached in five games at the tournament. That’s 480 minutes without letting in a goal.

South Korea’s players sunk to their knees at the final whistle after reaching the final of the AFC’s showpiece tournament for the first time in 27 years. They will face the winner of Australia or the United Arab Emirates in the final in Sydney on Saturday.

Tuesday’s game

Semifinal – Australia vs. UAE: 4 a.m. ET

VIDEO: Tim Cahill scores stunning goal to send Australia past China, into Asian Cup semis

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Timmy’s still got it.

On Thursday Australia beat China 2-0 on home soil to reach the semifinals of the 2015 Asian Cup.

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New York Red Bulls attacker Tim Cahill scored both goals in the second half, including the stunning bicycle kick which you can watch below, to send the host nation into a huge clash against either Japan or the UAE on Tuesday for a place in the final.

Cahill, 35, is set to retire from the Socceroos at the end of this tournament but the former Everton star is certainly putting an exclamation mark on his international career as he continues to score spectacular goals. Remember his stunning volley at the World Cup last summer? Here’s a reminder.

Take a bow, Tim. We look forward to seeing you back in Major League Soccer for the 2015 season, and hopefully you can keep doing things like this. My word…