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Category: Asian Cup 2015

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The dancing dozen – 12 wonderful fan moments from the Asian Cup

They were the people who brought the passion, colour and noises of Asia to Australia, and while the Asian Cup is now past, the memories of it will linger onThe Asian Cup featured stars both on and off the field, with passionate, loud, musical, and most…

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The dancing dozen – 12 wonderful fan moments from the Asian Cup

They were the people who brought the passion, colour and noises of Asia to Australia, and while the Asian Cup is now past, the memories of it will linger on Continue reading…

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John Laws questions Socceroos’ Asian Cup achievements in curious Cahill interview

  • Socceroos star Cahill hangs up on veteran radio broadcaster
  • Laws: ‘champions of Asia? It’s a big call, Asia’s got a lot of people’

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Time for Tim Cahill to stand aside and allow youthful Socceroos to flourish

He’s a once-in-a-generation footballer with gas left in the tank, but for the greater good of the national side, Tim Cahill must now call time on his Socceroos career

New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down by LCD Soundsystem is vocalist James Murphy’s ode to his city in transition. It’s about his love for NYC’s shadows of danger and grunge, but as those in charge begin reforming it for the better, the city he adored changed and even though he wanted its addictive and alluring charm to stay, it wasn’t what was right for the city itself.

Tim Cahill and the Socceroos tell a similar story – Tim Cahill, We Love You But You’ll Start Bringing Us Down is how the song would go, or at least be titled. You’re here, you’re still amazing and we all love you, but for the greater good we need a change.

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Football in Asia: improving, but still trailing far behind Africa

Despite a successful Asian Cup, there is still plenty of work to be done on the continent before the gap can be closed on the African Cup of Nations Continue reading…

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The Asian Cup 2015 is over but its legacy will endure in Australia

The benefits of hosting and winning the Asian Cup may not be immediately tangible, but they are durable

“I have long dreamed of a football event this big coming to Australian shores.” Thus spake the man dubbed by Frank Lowy as “the face of the Asian Cup”, and while there may have been no sign of the Captain Ambassador Lucas Neill come tournament’s start, by anyone’s measure the 2015 Asian Cup has been a phenomenal success.

With 500 days to go to the tournament, the CEO of the Local Organising Committee, Michael Brown, spoke effusively of the high hopes for ticket sales, and of the rising interest among the broader public. With twinkling eyes, showing glimpses of both snake oil peddler and barely-concealed terror, he spoke of a dream of selling half a million tickets. Half a million tickets – for North Korea v Uzbekistan; for Qatar v Bahrain; for Oman v Kuwait? In Newcastle?

Related: The Socceroos: champions of Asia and plucky Australian underdogs no more | Joe Gorman

Related: ABC scores ratings goals with Asian Cup final and Queensland election coverage

Related: ‘No limits’ for Socceroos after Australian triumph, says Ange Postecoglou

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The Asian Cup 2015 is over but its legacy will endure in Australia

The benefits of hosting and winning the Asian Cup may not be immediately tangible, but they are durable

Continue reading…



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2015 Asian Cup: readers’ photos

Australia held their nerve in the 2015 Asian Cup final against South Korea to win the competition for the very first time. We asked our readers for their best moments from the tournament Continue reading…

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ABC scores ratings goals with Asian Cup final and Queensland election coverage

Political and sporting telecasts help the national broadcaster gain its highest share of audience since digital channels were introduced in 2008 Continue reading…

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ABC kicks ratings goals with Asian Cup final and Queensland election coverage

Political and sporting telecasts help the national broadcaster gain its highest share of audience since digital channels were introduced in 2008 Continue reading…

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The Socceroos: champions of Asia and plucky Australian underdogs no more

With a major title finally in the bag and a coach who will not subscribe to small-nation syndrome at the helm, can the Socceroos’ inferiority complex be consigned to the past?

Champions of Asia. It’s got a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Nine years after joining the Asian Football Confederation, this was Australia’s coming out party. And now the Socceroos have finally won something of note; coach Ange Postecoglou reckons this is “only the beginning”.

This is uncharted territory for Australian football fans. Before the tournament began, many pundits tipped the Socceroos to go all the way. SBS pundit Craig Foster suggested “Australia can, and really should, win this tournament”. Postecoglou – a man with the Midas touch in the domestic league – waxed lyrical about “winning with style”. Style, of course, was his essential point, and to emphasise it at all illustrated that winning had already, at least subconsciously, been assumed.

Related: Socceroos lift Asian Cup after extra-time win over South Korea

Related: Asian Cup final: Australia v South Korea – in pictures

Related: ‘No limits’ for Socceroos after Australian triumph, says Ange Postecoglou

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Socceroos lift Asian Cup after dramatic extra-time win over South Korea – video

The Australian football team lift the Asian Cup after a dramatic extra-time win over South Korea. After scoring in the first half Australia looked like seeing the game out, but a last-gasp equaliser from South Korea left the score 1-1, taking the final…

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Socceroos lift Asian Cup after dramatic extra-time win over South Korea – video

The Australian football team lift the Asian Cup after a dramatic extra-time win over South Korea. After scoring in the first half Australia looked like seeing the game out, but a last-gasp equaliser from South Korea left the score 1-1, taking the final…

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‘No limits’ for Socceroos after Australian triumph, says Ange Postecoglou

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Australia’s Massimo Luongo named Asian Cup’s most valuable player

Midfielder scores opener in final against South KoreaSecond goal of campaign caps impressive tournamentSocceroos lift Asian Cup after dramatic extra-time win over South Korea Continue reading…

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Socceroos lift Asian Cup after dramatic extra-time win over South Korea

An extra-time winner from James Troisi lifted Australia to a dramatic win over South Korea and a landmark Asian Cup victory.

The match proved to be a torrid, chaotic affair but the entertainment on offer was undeniable as Australia became the first host nation to become Asian champions since Japan in 1992.

Related: Asian Cup final: Australia v South Korea – in pictures

Related: Australia’s Massimo Luongo named Asian Cup’s most valuable player

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Socceroos lift Asian Cup after dramatic extra-time win over South Korea

South Korea equalise in final minute of normal timeJames Troisi hits winner for Australia Continue reading…

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Asian Cup final: Australia 2-1 South Korea (AET) – as it happened

10.47pm AEST

I’m spent, ladies and gentleman. You’re spent. Imagine how the Socceroos and the Koreans feel. Both teams gave it everything tonight. Korea can be proud and they deserved their late late equaliser. But what an effort from Australia to put that disappointment behind them and get on top in extra time. Postecoglou has done a brilliant job with this team and deserves all the plaudits. The future looks bright for Australian football.

And as the trophy presentation gets underway, I’ll leave you with the news that Robbie Kruse has just come on to the field on crutches, his left foot in a moon boot. At the sight of him his teammates rush over to embrace him, one big happy family.

10.40pm AEST

From somewhere the Socceroos have received —and put on— shirts that are more or less identical to the ones they wore in the game except these ones all have ‘Champions’ written across the back. I imagine had the Socceroos lost the game these would have been taken out the back, put into an incinerator and torched lest word of their existence got out.

10.37pm AEST

Here are some words from Postecoglou that I won’t claim are exact but you’ll get the gist:

“I’m not good for words right now. I’m super proud of everyone; players, staff, the whole organisation. I couldn’t be happier. It was tough, a real final; you have to grind those out sometimes. The courage the players showed was enormous.

10.33pm AEST

Ange Postecoglou is striding the sideline punching the air, fanning the fans’ roars and cheers with his arms. The Socceroos are arm in arm jumping up and down like some Antipodean marsupial the name of which escapes me.

10.30pm AEST

What. A. Game

10.30pm AEST

And the Socceroos collapse into puddles of spent bodies!

10.29pm AEST

ET 30 + 1 min: A mad scramble in the Australia area! The ball is pin-balling all over the joint but it runs over the byline as the ref whistles a Korea offside…

10.27pm AEST

ET 30: There will be one additional minute! Korea in possession, a throw in midway in their own half… They surge down the left…

10.26pm AEST

ET 29: Troisi does very well to hold off three red shirts to try and find Juric in space but Korea just press him into an error.

And again Korea push forward. But their effort ends with a chipped ball forward that Ryan rushes out to meet and double fists clear. Offisde, however, and Australia get a chance to breathe.

10.25pm AEST

ET 27: Cha Du-ri tries to get on the outside of Davidson and does well enough to find room for a cross but he hits it straight to Ryan.

10.23pm AEST

ET 26: A Korea throw deep on the right. Damn this is tense! Ki holds off Troisi but the ball is turned over and a Socceroo, not sure who, just kicks it downfield to no-one.

10.22pm AEST

ET 25: Lovely work by Ki on the left, weaving in and out and passing with the outside of his left boot to Kim Jin-Su. Kim would have got to that an hour ago but not this time as Milligan clears.

10.21pm AEST

ET 23: Korea are coming again! Wave after wave and Australia resort to booting it over the sideline.

10.19pm AEST

ET 21: Matt Ryan hoofs a goal kick forward. Not playing out from the back now—not that you can blame them.

10.18pm AEST

ET 20: Korea’s Kim Jin-Su ‘delaps’ a throw into the Australia box but they scramble it clear.

10.17pm AEST

ET 19: A great penalty shout for Australia as Kim Young-Gwon clatters into the back of Leckie. But no.

Now Juric is freed on the right but he decides against a right foot shot from the right of the box and cuts in on his left. He shouldn’t have.

10.15pm AEST

ET 18: Australia have done remarkably well to get over that goal and I’d say they’ve had the better of extra time.

Meantime, Nick Mangafas keeps it short nd sweet: “Come on!!!!”

10.14pm AEST

ET 16: Davidson stifles Korea with some lovely defending but there’s no time to admire his handy work as Australia nip downfield. But Juric is called offside when he takes the ball of McKay’s feet when McKay (who wasn’t offside) just might have fashioned a shot.

10.12pm AEST

Just time for a drink and we are back on! What an exhausting game to watch. I dare say it’s exhausting to play too.

10.11pm AEST

scorrrrrrres!!!!

10.10pm AEST

ET 15: Juric scraps with Kim for the ball on the byline… They are at it for an age, Juric even goes down. But he gets back up and wriggles clear, crossing across the face of goal! Kim dives at it deflecting it into the path of Troisi. Troisi…..

10.07pm AEST

ET 12: Korea, who’ve been defending for the past five or so minutes, push forward. And the goalscorer Son Heung-min races inside before playing a reverse pass to Kim Jin-Su overlapping. He gets to the byline and crosses but it’s too close to Ryan who gets it to safety.

10.05pm AEST

ET 10: In traffic on the right Luongo crosses cleverly to Troisi and Juric, shoulder to shoulder, and it might have found one of them had keeper Kim not dived forward at full stretch to punch it away!

10.03pm AEST

ET 9: Ryan intercepts the ball about 20 yards outside his own box. He doesn’t get it cleanly, however, and just when you think Korea might take advantage you realise the linesman had spotted a Korea offside.

10.02pm AEST

ET 7: Spiranovic, already on a yellow, is a little lucky to be on the park. Lee Keun-ho slides into a 50/50 and Spiranovic gets there a split second later, his slightly airborne boot missing the ball and taking Lee’s ankle.

10.00pm AEST

ET 6: The entire Korea team are behind the ball as Australia probe, but in this passage they are like a dentist with a blunt tool.

9.59pm AEST

ET 4: Neither team is in a hurry to restart play when the ball goes out. Fatigue is setting in.

9.57pm AEST

ET 2: Korea continue to press Australia but the Socceroos enjoy a brief period of possession.

But here’s our first cramp victim, Jang Hyun-soo. Our commentators are giving it to the ref for allowing him to be treated, delaying a Leckie throw-in. That led to nothing.

9.55pm AEST

Here we go again…

9.55pm AEST

You’d have to say Korea have the edge now. Australia have to put that late goal behind them. Easier said than done, of course.

Thomas Walker has been robbed of a cracking breakfast: “Update from New York – my American girlfriend and I were getting ready to pop the corks on a champagne brekky, then the news of that Korean goal came through… Got a bad feeling about extra time. We need Cahill on the pitch.”

9.52pm AEST

And we’ll play 30 minutes of extra time. I don’t know how any of these players will last. I don’t know I’ll last!

9.51pm AEST

90 + 2 min: Australia were almost there when Korea exchanged some short sharp passes on the edge of the box. Ki slipped a ball through to Son who ran in on goal as Ryan tried to cut down the angle. But Son kept his cool and with almost the last kick of regulation time found the back of the net from close range. Heartbreaking for Australia, but you can’t say Korea didn’t deserve it.

9.49pm AEST

Oh my!

9.48pm AEST

90 min: Australia win a freekick deep in their own half as we tick into the 90th minute. They are not in a rush to take it. When they do it is sent deep, deep, deep. Juric ends up with it but his half-hearted attempt at a cross ends up in a goalkick to Korea. They pum it forward…

There will be three minutes of extra time…

9.46pm AEST

88 min: Korea sub but so quick are they to make it that I missed the names! And still the actions ebbs and flows to a soundtrack of a screams from the crowd. Minutes left!

9.43pm AEST

87 min: A chance, but Troisi skews one wide with his left after dribbling across the Korea box.

9.42pm AEST

85 min: Australia push forward with Leckie but Kim Young-Gwon dispossess him and immediately launches a counter. But Korea just can’t create a clear opportunity as Australia dig in.

9.41pm AEST

83 min: Still Korea, as Australia seem to be dropping deeper and deeper. Korea win a free-kick, 35 yards out, dead centre. Son Heung-min walks back like he’s about to attempt a long-range penalty at Eden Park. And he hits it in the same manner, sending it high over the bar.

9.39pm AEST

81 min: Another turnover, by McKay this time, winds up with Korean danger man Ki. Korea work it from one flank to another but Kim Jin-Su’s cross from the left isn’t great. To be fair he’s put in a hell of a shift, Kim, and must be knackered.

9.38pm AEST

80 min: Just 10 minutes to go! Troisi wins a free kick after shielding the ball with some skill but Australia turn it over straight away. Such is the Korean pressure.

9.37pm AEST

79 min: Clare Lawrence is still wondering what that card for Kruse was for. “He’s off injured, hardly a dive!”

9.35pm AEST

77 min: It’s still end to end stuff but here Kim Young-Gwon gives it up and Leckie picks up the crumbs and advances into dangerous areas. He squares to Troisi. Troisi makes room for a shot but not enough. It’s blocked and loops to Kim in goal.

9.33pm AEST

75 min: Juric is taken down 30 yards out and Australia are awarded a freekick. But Australia chose to pass it around instead of putting it in the mixer. They lose the ball.

9.31pm AEST

74 min: Now Franjic walks off, unable to continue. Matt McKay comes on in his stead. Milligan to right fullback, MacKay into midfield.

9.30pm AEST

73 min: Ryan clears up a very dangerous cross that Australia failed to deal with. Cha on the right whistled one across and it seemed to hit Jedinak on the stomach before sitting up in the box, tempting the Koreans.

9.29pm AEST

70 min: With Australia a man down Korea are firing, and Ryan is forced into a save from a shot close to the byline. Australia race forward now… this is crazy stuff. Gallons of cordial must have been drunk at the break.

Troisi is on. Kruse is on a stretcher being carried around the ground as he’d limped off the far touchline.

9.26pm AEST

68 min: Kruse has come back on but he can’t run. As Troisi readies himself on the sideline Korea charge forward. What was that yellow for? Did he say something untoward to the ref or did the ref think he was faking?

9.25pm AEST

67 min: Kruse is in all sorts of discomfort. He went down untouched and replays suggest his Achilles has gone. Showing no sympathy whatsoever the referee gives him a card.

9.24pm AEST

65 min: Kruse just fails to make the most of a great position by not getting a shot away in traffic. Now he’s gone done injured at the same time as Jedinak picks up a booking.

Another backhanded compliment, this one from Thomas Walker in New York. “5am on a bitterly cold night here in New York City. I’m lying in bed on the Upper West Side following your commentary – nothing live on the telly so you’re the best I’ve got. Cheers!”

9.21pm AEST

62 min: Franjic is wincing, and remember he struggled with an ankle injury all week. But he’s not going to be replaced. Cahill is! He’s off for Tomi Juric. Is that the last time we see Cahill play on these shores? Just in case it is he gets a mighty reception. One can only presume Ange felt Cahill’s legs were gone, or at least going.

9.19pm AEST

60 min: Leckie stings the keeper’s hands with an angled left-foot shot! From the resulting corner Cahill gets a header in but sends it wide to the right. He’s scored those before so by his standards he’ll be disappointed.

9.16pm AEST

59 min: Spiranovic picks up a yellow for some rough housing. That’s three of Australia’s back four on a yellow now. That could have some bearing on the result.

9.15pm AEST

57 min: Cahill chips it forward to Leckie but despite tacking like a yacht in a race to the line he can’t get find a shot, or a teammate.

9.13pm AEST

55 min: Korea stretch Australia with a wide ball to Park on the left but he can’t find the man with his cross. A minute later Park is found again in space but with two men ahead of him, including Kim Jin-Su, he dinks it weakly and Australia win possession.

9.11pm AEST

53 min: Australia waste a rare foray forward with a too-deep free kick that Luongo can only just get a head on.

Nick Magafas, in Perchtoldsdorf, Lower Austria, has another request for Luongo.

9.08pm AEST

50 min: This half has started in a similar manner to the first, with red shirts pushing into Australia’s half and harassing the Socceroos whenever they are on the ball.

9.06pm AEST

47 min: Korea work it around in Australia’s final third and Australia concede a throw in. Moments later, on the left, Park gives Franjic some grief, as he’s done all night, but in attempting to cross the ball Park kicks it into Franjic. For a corner. But Korea can’t make anything of it.

9.03pm AEST

And here we go. Just 45 minutes between Australia and the Asian Cup. And here’s Cahill put on his backside after a strong challenge. As we were, then.

Alan Cory watches from fields afar and gives me a compliment. I think. “Keep the words coming, Paul. I’m in Berlin and you’re the best updates I can get for free.
Like!!”

8.59pm AEST

@Socceroos If @Tim_Cahill is the king, then @MassLuongo is the rightful heir to the throne! #GoSocceroos #AUSvKOR

Late night requests? Here’s a song going out to Massimo Luongo:

8.56pm AEST

Stats, man:

.@socceroos Half time stats: Korea Republic 0-1 Australia #AC2015 #ACFinal pic.twitter.com/F95wo5VSWO

Half time stats: Korea Republic 0-1 Australia #AC2015 #ACFinal pic.twitter.com/Icqr3VliIY

8.55pm AEST

Anyone miss the goal? Phil Withall did. I feel for you, Phil. I’ve been there (not tonight, though). “Left the room in an attempt to calm a six year old who doesn’t want a shower and came back to see it was 1-0. I’m used to this sort of thing happening watching cricket but an Asian cup final?! Not happy.”

Yet you’re happy the goal was scored. Is that a Pyrrhic victory?

8.50pm AEST

45 + 2 min: What an end to a hectic half of football that has flown by. Korea will be gutted to be behind. Australia have given themselves an incredible chance now.

8.49pm AEST

45 min: That goal! Sainsbury measured a lovely pass from deep that bypassed Korea’s midfield. Luongo, standing with his back to goal, turned on the ball with a deft touch on his right. Facing the goal now he unleashed from 30 yards and sent a low altitude rocket into the bottom right corner!

8.46pm AEST

What a belter?! How do you say ‘against the run of play’ in Korean?

8.45pm AEST

43 min: Leckie gives away a free-kick in Korea’s half when contesting a ball against Park. Park fell and Leckie trod on his ankle, but I don’t think there was any intent.

8.44pm AEST

41 min: A yellow to Davidson for holding the jersey of Jang Hyun-soo. Was it inside the box? Just outside says the ref. Just indeed. Korea line up a free-kick a few centimetres outside the box, dead centre… But Korea’s Ki attempts what looked like a panenka and Ryan catches his tame shot with no trouble.

8.41pm AEST

38 min: And Son again comes close! Lee Jeong-Hyeop in midfield put the ball ahead of Cah Du-ri who squares to Son. His first-time shot looks goal-bound until a sliding Luongo gets a boot to it to send it looping over the bar! Korea on the charge!

8.39pm AEST

37 min: What a shot from Son Heung-min! Kim Jin-Su skips past Franjic and from the byline dinks in a deep cross that Son volleys on his left, just wide of Ryan’s right-hand post!

8.37pm AEST

36 min: The commentators have been talking up Mark Milligan. But not as much as this bloke:

If Milligan isn’t the best player in the A-league I’ll give up a testicle #Socceroos #AUSvKOR

8.35pm AEST

34 min: Franjic and Nam Tae-hee cross paths and Franjic, eyes only for the man in red, shoulders him well clear of the ball. It was like Nam jumped from a moving train the way he came to earth. No foul, though, just good hard football.

8.33pm AEST

32 min: Davidson and Leckie exchange passes on the left, perhaps for the first time tonight. The pair gave China all kinds of grief during the semi and Korea seem intent of stamping on any blazes they attempt to light.

8.31pm AEST

29 min: Some nice midfield passing by Australia comes to an end when Luongo is shoved over. Moments later Kruse drills a grass-cutting cross at Cahill on the six-yard box but there are too many red shirts in its path.

Just heard there are an estimated 20,000 Korean fans in the building. Nice effort, though Peter Oh says his countrymen and women are making it sound like a One Direction concert. I wouldn’t know what that sounds like, Peter.

8.29pm AEST

27 min: It’s anyone’s at the moment, and both teams will be pleased they are now getting a better sight of goal. Here’s Cahill’s shot, frozen in place:

24′ @Tim_Cahill breaks but his shot is straight at Kim Jin-hyeon! Frantic few minutes in Sydney! #ACFinal #AC2015 pic.twitter.com/Q5Wlb849Zi

8.27pm AEST

24 min: And from the free kick Kwak Tae-Hwi heads wide to Ryan’s right despite rising unopposed to Ki Sung-Yueng’s outswinger! He should have done better, surely.

Countering, Leckie feeds Kruse out wide and his nice inside ball finds Cahill on the edge of the Korea box. Cahill’s first touch takes him wide of Kwak but his snap angled shot can’t beat Kim Jin Hyeon in goals. Good counter, Straya.

8.24pm AEST

22 min: At the risk of getting ahead of myself I’m feeling Korea have slowed a little… but here you go, Park chases an Australia back-pass and Matt Ryan has to get his skates on to get it away.

Now Luongo chops down an overlapping Kim Jin-Su on the left. Free kick….

8.22pm AEST

21 min: Is it just me or is it bloody hot in here?! My head feels like a baboon’s arse looks. I was out in the sun today but I did have a hat on and wore sunscreen. I think it’s the game.

Jang goes down clutching his ankle after he and Milligan contested a loose ball vigorously. Like the Boxing Day sales it was no place for the faint-hearted.

8.20pm AEST

19 min: Very tense stuff this, particularly due to the intensity of South Korea. Anyone finding it hard to breathe, Phil Withall has a remedy via Black Books:

8.18pm AEST

17 min: A succession of throw-ins to Korea on the right flank ends when Jedinak intercepts… but he then gives it away with a sloppy pass. Moments earlier he’d shanked a ball over the sideline. As someone once said, “Sometimes you’re the pigeon, sometimes you’re the statue.”

8.16pm AEST

15 min: Goal-kick to Korea after Kim Jin-Su shepherds the ball over the byline with Kruse all over him like a backpack.

8.14pm AEST

13 min: Korea draw some triangles down the left but an attempt at a long hypotenuse ends up in the offside flag going up.

8.13pm AEST

12 min: Cahill caught offside in fielding a nice Sainsbury pass from the back. He’s developed well through this tournament, Sainsbury. Cahill’s done okay I s’pose.

8.10pm AEST

10 min: This is being played at a frenetic pace. It’s up one end, down another, and no-one is being allowed any time on the ball. It’s a real test of technique and temperament.

Peter Oh wasn’t too keen on that heavy intervention by Jedinak earlier: “Would someone please inform Mr. Jedinak that this is a football match, not rugby?”

8.09pm AEST

9 min: Jedinak hits it sweetly, getting it up and over the wall and dipping towards the keeper’s right. But it just fails to drop under the bar and bounces off the roof of the net.

8.08pm AEST

8 min: Milligan wins a free kick just outside the D after a good run from Leckie…

8.07pm AEST

5 min: Australia handle the free-kick comfortably, Cahill heading clear. But Korea push up again. They are not letting Australia play it out.

8.06pm AEST

4 min: Song, better now, threatens again as Korea push forward in great numbers. They are up for an early goal it seems and such is the pressure on Australia Franjic pulls Park down by the shirt as Park looked to dribble into the box. Yellow card for Franjic.

8.04pm AEST

2 min: Song Heung-min cuts in from the right dragging Jason Davidson with him. But he manages to squeeze off a shot off moment before he collides with Jedinak. The ball flies high and wide, Song lies down for a while and watches the cartoon birds circling his head.

8.02pm AEST

1 min: An early chance to Australia when Cahill runs to the left edge of the box and looks to cross but, instead, dinks it straight to keeper Kim.

8.01pm AEST

Tim Cahill gets us underway with a quite beautiful 5 inch pass to Mark Milligan. Australia, in gold, are running right to left on my screen. Korea are in red shirts and socks with blue shorts. Like the sea after a storm.

7.59pm AEST

Places everybody! We’re about to start…

The ref, by the way, is from Iran. He’s wearing black and his name is Alireza Faghani. Good luck, sir.

7.57pm AEST

Anthems:

Here’s a young man who I gave airtime to during the World Cup. Time to bring him off the bench again, methinks. Australia’s anthem sounds better this way but there’s something soulful about South Korea’s.

7.55pm AEST

The teams are out! They are lined up, handshakes are being exchanged, cheeks are being tenderly touched (Frank Lowy to one of the child mascots).

Peter Oh —a Korean watching from the US west coast— has a question: “I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but do you know if any football team in a major international finals has won the tournament without allowing any goals?”

7.49pm AEST

Does anyone expect neutral commentary any more?

Always guaranteed neutral coverage in Australia. #AUSvKOR #ACFinal pic.twitter.com/5Qso3mNwHm

7.47pm AEST

Korea Schmorea, says reader raymondreardon in a manner of speaking. A win for Australia would mean more than one for Korea:
“In the shadows of Johnny Warren’s campaign for Australian football to grow through joining a stronger Confederation, like the Asian Football Confederation, Australia have the chance to win the Asian Cup at their third attempt. Ten years after his passing and forty eight years after Johnny Warren scored the winning goal in a 3-2 win against South Korea in Australia’s first ever match against South Korea, will another great Australian step into Australian football folklore? Australia currently have a 12 win-11 loss- 9 draw result against South Korea and a loss would draw South Korea level on a head to head scoreboard but an Australian loss in the Asian Cup would have more consequences than a South Korean win.”

7.45pm AEST

With all the talk of the Socceroos let’s not overlook what a win would mean for Korea. Though they have won the tournament twice before this is their first final since 1988, while their last win was 55 years ago. Korean football has had many nearly moments, how dearly they must want to get a winner’s medal around their necks.

7.36pm AEST

Australia:

Start list: @Socceroos #AC2015 #ACFinal pic.twitter.com/ThrmaZY4Yq

Start list: @theKFA #ACFinal #AC2015 pic.twitter.com/lVNyQLRg5u

7.31pm AEST

In case the magnitude of tonight’s game has passed you by let me remind you that it’s big. How big? We could argue the point for ages but it could be the greatest night in Australian football history. Given you could walk into the Socceroos’ trophy room and swing a cat (or indeed a whole bunch of them, on a mini Hills Hoist-type contraption you built, disturbingly, just for the occasion) without knocking over any major silverware you might be inclined to say, “Well it’s not like there’s much competition”. So what, I say.

Tonight, should the Socceroos win their first major tournament, I’d be prepared to say their achievement might just trump these loin-stirring moments:

7.24pm AEST

‘I hope South Korea get smashed’ #AUSvKOR pic.twitter.com/zJuzfCLMOP

7.23pm AEST

2hrs until the #ACFinal! Who are YOU supporting tonight?! #AC2015 pic.twitter.com/qVPyETsgOv

7.22pm AEST

As I take a moment to crack my knuckles, a few scene setters:

The players are out for their warm ups! #ACFinal #AC2015 https://t.co/Qj6fLuNIJd

7.21pm AEST

Given South Korea have already beaten the Socceroos this tournament they’ll be confident of doing so again but as well-drilled and organised as they were against Australia at Lang Park on January 17 the Socceroos showed enough to suggest they can turn the tables tonight.

In fact, the Socceroos have shown enough all tournament to suggest that coach Ange Postecoglou was right when he said, back in October 2013, that this team was one for the future, that it would endeavour to play positive attacking football come what may. Postecoglou echoed those comments this week. “Australian sporting teams, we want them to be aggressive, proactive, and take the game to opponents,” he said. “We want to be successful, but we also want to grow the game in this country.”

7.17pm AEST

So let’s start this I Cant Believe It’s Not Better™ coverage with a quick rundown of the state of play.

As we’ve already established, Australia are in the final! “Yay!”, as some people say, seemingly without embarrassment. How did they get to the final? In some style it has to be said. In Australia’s first two group games they beat Kuwait 4-1 then Oman 4-0 before losing 1-0 to South Korea (despite enjoying the majority of possession and chances). This loss caused some hand-wringing, it must be said, because it seemed it would put Australia on a collision course with Japan in the semifinals. But the United Arab Emirates upset the Japanese in the quarters and when Australia beat China 2-0 in their quarter it meant the Socceroos would face the UAE in one semifinal. Midweek, in Newcastle, the Socceroos prevailed 2-0 without being truly tested (or truly hitting their straps, bar the opening 15 minutes when both goals were scored).

Stadium Australia is really starting to buzz with fans of all ages! #ACFinal #AC2015 pic.twitter.com/68m718HCCj

7.10pm AEST

Welcome to the Guardian’s minute-by-minute report of the 2015 Asian Cup final between Australia and South Korea. I can’t promise you it will the same as being at the Sydney Olympic Stadium and witnessing it with your own eyes but I can guarantee you it will keep you abreast of most the action (bearing in mind I may need to see a man about a Shetland Pony at some point, or nip off to read the kids a bedtime story, or spend too much time explaining one piece of action that I miss another one entirely). Better yet, I will describe the action for you mere minutes after it actually happens! Technology, eh?! Will wonders never cease?

If this format excites you (and why wouldn’t it?) drop me a line, let me know what’s on your mind, where you’re watching, what you think of the game, etc: Your correspondence is valuable to me and I will endeavour to answer it (or at least read it) at the first available opportunity: paulconnolly@theguardian.com.

7.01pm AEST

So this is it. The moment of destiny. Australia’s irresistible force meets South Korea’s immovable object with Asian Cup glory going to the winner and a congested trip home from Olympic Park for the loser. Whatever the outcome of tonight’s crunch clash, there can be no doubt the competition has been a huge success with entertaining games, plenty of goals and great crowd numbers. Not bad for a tournament dubbed a potential “lemon” by Eddie McGuire. How do you like them apples Eddie? Follow the final 90/120 minutes with Paul Connolly, who will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s how Kate Cohen sees the game.

The final represents an intriguing clash of styles – attack versus defence. Coached by a man fittingly nicknamed “the Stopper”, German Uli Stielike, South Korea have not conceded a single goal in the tournament, keeping five clean sheets. On the other hand, Australia have been by far the most potent side going forward, hitting the back of the net 12 times, a goal a game more, on average, than their opponents on Saturday. There is a simple explanation for these differences. Whereas Postecoglou is a manager that demands a high tempo, fluid, attacking brand of football, Stielike’s South Korean side have been conservative in their approach to the tournament. With little time to work with the side, just five games in charge after taking over before the Asian Cup began, Stielike has developed a system which is focused more on being effective rather than being entertaining.

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Asian Cup final: Australia 2-1 South Korea (aet) – as it happened

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Asian Cup final: Australia v South Korea – in pictures

Australia beat South Korea to lift the Asian Cup in memorable style in Sydney. Here’s how the evening at Stadium Australia panned out

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