2015 AFC Asian Cup: South Korea and Australia face off in Finals
Santino Honasan on Jan 30, 2015 09:39 AM
(Photo Courtesy of www.afcasiancup.com) South Korea and Australia meet for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup Championship
The stage is set for two Asian football powerhouses to meet as South Korea meets Australia in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup Finals this Saturday at the Stadium Australia in Sydney.
Former two-time champions of the AFC Asian Cup, South Korea has perennially made deep runs into the Asian Cup tournament, only failing to make the quarterfinals once in 13 appearances. Finishing at third place in their last two consecutive tournaments, the Taegeuk Warriors are set to eclipse their recent performances with a chance to hoist the Asian Cup trophy for the first time since 1960.
If their performance during the 2015 tournament is any indication of their chances in the finals, then Head Coach Uli Stielike has plenty to smile about, as they have managed to get past every obstacle put in front of them.
With a balanced attack led by Lee Jung-hyup and Son Heung-min, South Korea ran through the group stages, finishing at the top of Group A. In the quarterfinals, they defeated Uzbekistan and then proceeded to end Iraq’s Asian Cup aspirations in the semifinals.
Now, they face a familiar foe in host-nation Australia, a team they’ve already defeated in the early stages of the tournament.
Backed by the support of their countrymen and motivated by revenge, host-nation Australia will be making their second straight Asian Cup finals appearance with the hopes of clinching the title for the first time in team history.
Save for their loss to South Korea, the Socceroos have been very dominant in their tournament wins this year, defeating their rivals by an average margin of almost three goals. In the group stages, they obliterated Kuwait and Oman to advance as runners-up in Group A. in the quarterfinals, a Tim Cahill brace lifted them past China and then went on to defeat UAE in the semis.
Cahill, already considered as an Aussie football legend, has been the host-nation’s main man this tournament. A strong performance and a win over South Korea will be another highlight in his already storied international career.
Catch the 2015 AFC Asian Cup Finals between Australia and South Korea on Saturday, January 31 at 11:00 pm on ABS-CBN Sports + Action channel 23!