Socceroos go down swinging

Written By komlim puldel on Sabtu, 17 Januari 2015 | 20.01

Watch the highlights from the Group A Asian Cup clash between Australia and Korea.

Socceroos players Massimo Luongo and Robbie Kruse in Brisbane for the Asian Cup. Pic Peter Wallis Source: News Corp Australia

FOLLOW the live coverage of Australia's Asian Cup match against South Korea.

It's been a partly cloudy but hot day in Brisbane, with temperature expected to be 28C at kick-off.

The game starts at 8pm AEDT. Continue the conversation on Twitter @jaibednall

LIVE MATCH CENTRE: VIDEO, PLAY-BY-PLAY, STATS AND LINE-UPS

Scroll to the bottom of the page for blow-by-blow coverage.

10pm — SOCCEROOS GO DOWN SWINGING

Park Joo Ho was wiped out by Nathan Burns in the first half. Source: News Corp Australia

THE Socceroos won the physical battle but lost the game to South Korea on Saturday night — and now face a much tougher path to a potential Asian Cup final.

The 1-0 defeat relegated Australia to second place in group A and a quarter-final match-up against China in Brisbane on Thursday night.

If they win that, a semi-final against defending champion Japan likely awaits.

Australia won't have central defender Matthew Spiranovic for the game against China after he received his second yellow card of the tournament.

"He's (Spiranovic) been one of the important players at the back ... but we have to reply on our depth," goalkeeper Mat Ryan said.

In a separate incident, Spiranovic landed a big hit which forced South Korean forward Ja-Cheol Koo from the field.

Spiranovic jumped forcefully into the back of Koo, who landed awkwardly and lay on the ground with his leg twitching for several seconds.

He was alert when he was stretchered from the field.

Nathan Burns also delivered a hard body check in the first half which left Park Joo Ho with a bloody nose.

Burns received a yellow card and after attempting to play on Park Joo Ho was subsitituted out of the game.

Tim Cahill was also yellow carded for landing an elbow on South Korean goalkeeper Kim Jin-Hyeon while flying for a header.

The Socceroos won possession (67 per cent to 33 per cent) and had numerous chances to score but ultimately couldn't find a reply to Lee Jeong-Hyeop's 32nd minute goal.

"We paid for our slow start," midfielder Mark Milligan said.

"I think we created enough chances to get something out of the match."

9.30pm — HERE COMES THE FIREPOWER

Tim Cahill spent the first 70 minutes sitting on the bench. Source: News Corp Australia

ANGE Postecoglou has finally turned to attacking duo Tim Cahill and Robbie Kruse as the Socceroos continue to search for an equaliser.

The star pair replaced Matt McKay and Nathan Burnsin the 70th minute.

Burns came off after almost scoring, making a great run through the heart of the South Korean defence only to have his shot palmed away by the goalkeeper.

8.50pm — WORK TO DO IN SECOND HALF

Lee Jeong-Hyeop stole the spotlight in the first half. Source: News Corp Australia

NATHAN Burns is looking dangerous but the Socceroos may have to turn to substitute Tim Cahill to find an equaliser in the second half.

Burns created a decent opportunity in the second minute of first half injury time but had his shot blocked.

It's 1-0 to South Korea at half-time despite Fox Sports statistics showing Australia has completed 226 accurate passes to South Korea's 100.

The home side has also had more possession — 65 per cent to 35 per cent.

But Australia has struggled to break through a deep-lying South Korean defence and hasn't had any success crossing the ball.

"There's very little between the two sides," Fox Sports commentator Mark Bosnich said.

8.30pm — SOUTH KOREA STRIKES FIRST

Lee Jeong-Hyeop is mobbed by teammates. Source: News Corp Australia

THE Socceroos are going to have to launch a comeback if they're going to top group A after conceding a 32nd minute goal to South Korea.

Several Socceroos defenders were caught ball-watching, allowing the opposition to slip a through ball which ultimately led to a goal by Lee Jeong-Hyeop.

James Troisi nearly replied in the 36th minute but his shot hit the side netting.

Troisi's attempt at an immediate reply for Australia. Source: Getty Images

8.10pm — SOUTH KOREA LUCKY TO SURVIVE MISTAKE

Tomi Juric was in great position to score in the opening 10 minutes. Source: Getty Images

SOUTH Korea nearly handed the Socceroos the opening goal through a poor defensive error.

Sloppy play at the back allowed Nathan Burns to pounce on the ball inside the box and he attempted to centre the ball to an unmarked Tomi Juric.

But a last ditch interception sent the ball out for a corner and South Korea survived.

It was the best chance of a quiet opening 15 minutes at moth-ridden Suncorp Stadium.

7.30pm — MOTH PLAGUE CAUSING HEADACHES

IN bizarre scenes, Asian Cup officials are using vacuum cleaners to try to remove a plague of moths which has descended on Suncorp Stadium tonight.

There are hundreds of the insects landing on the ground and grandstands and an effort is being made to try to clear the bench areas where the coaches and substitute players sit.

7.15pm — POSTECOGLOU MAKES FOUR CHANGES

Tommy Oar has missed out on a start for the third game in a row. Source: News Corp Australia

SOCCEROOS coach Ange Postecoglou has again tinkered with a winning side, making four changes to his starting team for tonight's Asian Cup showdown against South Korea at Suncorp Stadium.

As expected, captain Mile Jedinak will miss a second successive match with an ankle injury, with Mark Milligan to again deputise in the holding midfield role.

Milligan will also captain the team, with regular vice-captain Tim Cahill one of the four players who started in the 4-0 thrashing of Oman to be left out tonight.

The other three are fullback Jason Davidson, and attacking weapons Robbie Kruse and Mathew Leckie.

Coming into the starting team are Aziz Behich, James Troisi and Nathan Burns.

South Korea coach Uli Stielike has made six changes to the team that started in the 1-0 win over Kuwait on Tuesday.

Coming into the line-up are Kim Chang-soo, Kwak Tae-hwi, Han Kyo-won, Koo Ja-cheol, Lee Jeong-hyeop and Kim Jin-hyeon.

The Socceroos and South Korea have already qualified for the quarter-finals, with tonight's match to decide who tops Group A.

Australia only need a draw to top the group, while the South Koreans need a win to finish first in the pool.

— News Corp's Marco Monteverde

Tim Cahill will starton the bench for the Socceroos' Asian Cup clash with South Korea in Brisbane.


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