Socceroos crash out of Asian Cup
THE Socceroos have crashed out of the Asian Cup with another quarter finals departure in losing 2-1 to South Korea at the same stage of the tournament they faltered in back in 2019.
In a different performance to past games, Australia was on the back foot for much of the contest but inspired in attack and had the better of the chances throughout the clash.
Craig Goodwin put the Australians up in the 42nd minute, a lead that would then hold until deep into regular time.
But defender Lewis Miller, who came on in the 73rd minute, would go on to concede a penalty to Tottenham star Son Heung-min in the dying stages before another foul saw a South Korean free kick lead to another score in extra time.
Australia had good looks through Mitch Duke and Martin Boyle in the second half that would go to waste, with the missed opportunities, as they so often do, coming back to bite.
While the attacking and creative flair Australia had been lacking throughout the tournament was back, the finishing touch was not for Graham Arnold’s men.
“We were up 1-0,” Arnold said post-match.
“We had chances [for] 2-0, 3-0. That gets down to the individual to put the ball in the back of the net. If you don’t take those chances, you get punished, and that’s exactly what happened.”
Goodwin, who had been recalled to the starting side, suggested the Aussies would rue a 60-second panic.
“We were one minute away from going through. We had chances to put the game away in the second half a few times. We should have scored the second goal.
“We know [South] Korea are a very good side, but there’s nothing but disappointment in the moment… we gave them some opportunities from set pieces we didn’t need to.”
Socceroos captain Mat Ryan has vowed his side will learn from the disappointment.
– SEB MOTTRAM/ SEN