Ryan's Australia wins Asian Cup

After a heart-stopping final, Australia beat South Korea to the Asian Cup after prolongations. The Ozzies won 2-1, goals by Luongo and Troisi. Ryan produced some fine saves to help his team.

Both teams were committed to claim the trophy, and started the game in eager spirits. The Socceroos were oozing confidence, and they produced the first danger through Jedinak, seeing his free kick go just over. With 24 minutes played, the game really opened up. South Korea tried from corner kick, and a bit later Cahill put Kim to work. South Korea was industrious, and came close to opening the score through Heung Min Son, whose retro went just over. The Koreans were mounting the pressure, but Australia kept its cool, and it payed off. Moments before half time, Luongo struck from long range, and the ball went in past goalkeeper Kim.

The Socceroos' famous fighting spirit now showing, they tried to hold on to their lead while South Korea headed forward. This opened up space for both sides. Ryan was called upon a couple of times, but his colleague on the other side of the pitch also had to work for his money. Thirty minutes played, Cahill made way for Juric, chiming in a rougher period for Australia. The physical game started taking its toll, and ten minutes later, both Kruse and Franjic were forced to be taken off injured. With 15 minutes to play, Australia surged forward, but to the upset of the home audience, the ball came to Heung Min Son, who remained calm and put the ball past Ryan, forcing prolongations in this stunning Final.

Australia underwent the game in the first 90 minutes, but caught its breath in the prolongations. Leckie and Juric had feeble attempts, and the game was halted often. Ryan also proved important a couple of times, and set up attacks with deep throw ins. Australia kept coming, however, and Juric broke the deadlock: he went past two men, and produced the ideal cross towards Troisi, scoring hte winner for the home team. Ryan knew what was ahead of him, and denied South Korea another equaliser. The win means Australia's first Asian Cup victory!

AustraliaRyan - Franjic ('75 McKay), Sainsbury, Spiranovic, Davidson - Jedinak, Milligan, Luongo - Kruse ('71 Troisi), Cahill ('62 Juric), Leckie
South KoreaKim - Cha, Kwak, Kim, Kim - Park ('71 Han), Jang, Nam ('64 Lee), Ki, Son - Lee ('87 Kim)
Goals'44 Luongo (1-0) '92 Heung Min Son (1-1) '105 Troisi (2-1)


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