2015 AFC Asian Cup: Australia, South Korea, China Advance to Quarterfinals
Santino Honasan on Jan 15, 2015 02:57 PM
(Photo Courtesy of www.afcasiancup.com) Host-nation Australia clinches a quarterfinals berth following a 4-0 win over Oman
Host country Australia clinched a quarterfinals berth in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup tournament last Thursday, January 13 with a 4-0 thrashing of Oman at the Stadium Australia in Sydney.
Matt McKay scored the opening goal for The Socceroos from a Trent Sainsbury assist in the 27th minute while Robbie Kruse and Mark Milligan each knocked in goals to put the Socceroos up, 3-0 at halftime.
In the second frame, Tomi Juric put the match on ice with a 70th minute goal from a Mathew Leckie assist.
In other Group A action, South Korea also earned a trip to the next round with a 1-0 win over Kuwait.
Nam Tae-hee scored his second international goal for the Taegeuk Warriors in the 39th minute, which was enough for the former two-time Asian Cup champions to earn the win and clinch their sixth straight quarterfinals appearance.
Australia and South Korea are tied at the top of Group A with two wins each, for six points. The two squads will meet on Saturday, January 17th to determine who finishes at first place and second place. Kuwait and Oman have already been eliminated from competition.
In Group B, China secured their quarterfinals berth following a 2-1 win over Uzbekistan last Wednesday, January 14 at the Brisbane Stadium.
Uzbekistan seemed to be on the way to clinching a quarterfinals spot, with a 23rd minute goal from Odil Ahmedov. The tides turned in favor of China in the second half however, as Wu Xi drilled the equalizer in the 54th mark. In the 68th minute, Sun Ke connected a long right-footer to put China up 2-1, and ultimately claim the win.
Saudi Arabia also kept their Asian Cup dreams alive, following a 4-1 domination of North Korea.
Ryang Yong-gi opened the scoring up early for North Korea with a 12th minute goal, but Saudi Arabia’s Naif Hazazi scored the equalizer in the 37th minute. In the second half, the Green Falcons pulled away, thanks to a brace from Mohammed Al-Sahlawi in the 52nd and 54th minutes, while Nawaf Al-Abed sealed the deal with a final 76th minute conversion.
China sits at the top of Group B with two wins and six points plus the quarterfinals spot. Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia, both tied at one win, one loss, and three points will compete for the remaining quarterfinals spot on Sunday, January 18th. North Korea has been eliminated from competition with two losses.
In Group C action, IR Iran will be looking to clinch a spot in the quarterfinals while Qatar will be looking to keep their competition hopes alive. Watch as these to clubs face off on Thursday, January 15, 9:30pm on ABS-CBN Sports + Action channel 23!