• ts)
    Korea Republic Comparison Australia
    42.9% 46.2%53.8% 50%
  • General Play

    Possession (%)
    Korea Republic Comparison Australia
    47.9% 47.9%52.1% 52.1%
    Duels won (%)
    Korea Republic Comparison Australia
    50% 50%50% 50%
    Aerial Duels Won (%)
    Korea Republic Comparison Australia
    47.5% 47.5%52.5% 52.5%
    Korea Republic Comparison Australia
    15 53.6%46.4% 13
    Korea Republic Comparison Australia
    5 71.4%28.6% 2
    Korea Republic Comparison Australia
    3 60%40% 2
  • Distribution

    Total Passes
    Korea Republic Comparison Australia
    385 47.2%52.8% 431
    % of Passes Long
    Korea Republic Comparison Australia
    17.4% 60.4%39.6% 11.4%
    Passing Accuracy (%)
    Korea Republic Comparison Australia
    71.9% 48.1%51.9% 77.7%
    Passing Accuracy opp. Half (%)
    Korea Republic Comparison Australia
    63.3% 47.9%52.1% 68.8%
    Total Crosses
    Korea Republic Comparison Australia
    20 69%31% 9
    Successful Crosses (%)
    Korea Republic Comparison Australia
    35% 61.2%38.8% 22.2%
  • Defence & Discipline

    Korea Republic Comparison Australia
    21 46.7%53.3% 24
    Tackles Won (%)
    Korea Republic Comparison Australia
    66.7% 47.1%52.9% 75%
    Korea Republic Comparison Australia
    13 26%74% 37
    Fouls Conceded
    Korea Republic Comparison Australia
    16 44.4%55.6% 20
    Yellow Cards
    Korea Republic Comparison Australia
    0 0%100% 5
    Red Cards
    Korea Republic Comparison Australia
    0 50%50% 0

Preview: Socceroos v South Korea

Thursday, 29 January 2015

John Greco

The Socceroos’ date with destiny is here.

A full house at Sydney’s Stadium Australia and millions more across Australia and Asia will be glued to their screens when Ange Postecoglou’s exciting young side take on South Korea for the 2015 Asian Cup crown.

Two of the AFC’s most eye-catching football nations going for broke in a cracking contest of full-throttle, attacking football.

A night of high drama looms at a stadium that’s hosted its fair share of sporting theatre.

Ever since they were toppled by Korea in the group stage you got a sense Postecoglou and his troops were desperate for another crack at the Taeguk Warriors. They now have that chance for revenge.

Both sides came through their semi-finals quite comfortably and unscathed, with the Koreans enjoying the benefit of an extra day’s rest to prepare.

Team Comparison

Select teams to compare

Asian Cup
  • Team
    –Select team–
    China PR
    DPR Korea
    Korea Republic
    Saudi Arabia
    United Arab Emirates
Asian Cup
  • Team
    –Select team–
    China PR
    DPR Korea
    Korea Republic
    Saudi Arabia
    United Arab Emirates
Australia Korea Republic
5 Games Played 5
  • Defence

    Australia Korea Republic
    2 Goals Conceded 0
    3 Clean Sheets 5
    17 Shots Faced 14
    73 Tackles Won 76
    25 Tackles Lost 17
    74.5% Tackles Won (%) 81.7%
    283 Duels Won 325
    302 Duels lost 297
    48.4% Duels won (%) 52.3%
  • Attack

    Australia Korea Republic
    12 Goals Scored 7
    35 Shots On Target 29
    35 Shots Off Target 20
    50% Shot Accuracy (excluding blocked shots) 59.2%
    17.1% Conversion Rate (%) 14.3%
    10 Assists 5
  • Distribution

    Australia Korea Republic
    2,460 Successful Passes 1,946
    378 Unsuccessful Passes 429
    86.7% Pass accuracy 81.9%
    27 Successful crosses 14
    87 Unsuccessful Crosses 49
    23.7% Cross accuracy 22.2%
    64 Successful dribbles 64
    64 Unsuccessful dribbles 41
    50% Dribbles success 61%
  • Discipline

    Australia Korea Republic
    52 Fouls Won 83
    77 Fouls Conceded 61
    8 Yellow Cards 10
    0 Red Cards 0

The fitness of Ivan Franjic, however, looms as a key for the Green and Gold. If the Torpedo Moscow right back is ruled out then Postecoglou will be forced into a big decision or two.

Does he throw midfielder Mark Milligan into a defensive position he hasn’t played in a number of years and bring either Matt McKay, James Troisi or Mark Bresciano into the middle of the park?


The other option is to split up the strong central defensive pairing of Trent Sainsbury and Matthew Spiranovic by shifting the former out to the right and promoting experienced centre-back Alex Wilkinson – himself a star in the K-League.

Of course all this depends on Franjic’s powers of recovery – it’s a huge decision for the manager and could be decisive in the outcome. Especially with Korean attackers Son Heung Min, Nam Tae Hee and Lee Jeonghyeop getting stronger with every match at the tournament.

The midfield battle will also be key. While skipper Mile Jedinak provides a fearsome presence in the middle of the park, Korean skipper Ki Sung Yueng is just as influential.

He sets the tempo for Korea and his passing – both short and long – organisational skills and quality are crucial for Uli Stielike’s outfit.

It will be frenetic and physical in that area of the park.

Postecoglou has stuck with the same attacking 4-3-3 formation throughout the tournament and won’t change it now.

Just who lines up where will depend a lot on Franjic’s availability but assuming he’s fit, it’s hard to see any changes to the back four, with Jason Davidson – who scored against the UAE – favourite to get the nod over Aziz Behich at left-back.

He’s played both the sudden-death matches and would be stiff to miss out, although Behich got the nod against Korea in the group stage.

Jedinak as the screener and Massimo Luongo ahead of him will fill two of the midfield roles with Milligan, McKay, Troisi and Bresciano all contenders for the other.

Tim Cahill, Robbie Kruse and Mathew Leckie all started from the bench against Korea in the group stage but there’s no doubt they are Postecoglou’s favoured front three and are set to be unleashed from the kick-off this time.


Like in the semi-final, it’s imperative the Socceroos start fast.

Given Korea’s near impenetrable defence, scoring first could be decisive. Australia went behind in Brisbane and despite creating a number of good chances couldn’t peg back the Taeguk Warriors.

While this is not Korea Republic’s most talented squad ever, they are organised, clinical and physically strong.

Stielike has them well-drilled and playing to their strengths. It will be one huge challenge for the Socceroos to topple them.

In Ki, Son, Cha Du Ri and Tae Hee they have players with experience and class. Like in Brisbane they will look to get in behind the Socceroos full-backs and exploit any defensive lapse.

Having not won the continental title since 1960, the team and whole country will see this as an opportunity they simply can’t let slip.

But this is a rare chance for the Socceroos as well. Winning an Asian Cup – a major international piece of silverware – in front of their adoring home fans is an opportunity so rare they must grab it with both hands.

Whatever happens, game 32 of the Asian Cup is shaping as a fitting finale to a most beautiful three weeks of football in Australia.

The Socceroos will face Korea Republic in the AFC Asian Cup Final at Stadium Australia on Saturday 31 January (8.00pm local kick off). Click here  to purchase tickets.


Match Preview

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Match Line-ups

Player Comparison


  • 91goalGOAL SOUTH KOREA; AUSTRALIA 1, SOUTH KOREA 1 – Utter despair for Australia as they pause anticipating a whistle for a high foot but once play is waved on, Heung-min squeezes himself past Sainsbury, drags the ball to his right and chips out a clever shot which rattles into the bottom left corner. Stunning scenes at Stadium Australia.
  • 90commentThree minutes of stoppage time is confirmed at Stadium Australia with this encounter still on edge; it’s all or nothing now for South Korea who have pushed everyone forward as they push for an equaliser to send this one into Extra Time…
  • 88substitutionSUBSTITUTION SOUTH KOREA – Ju-Young ON
  • 87substitutionSUBSTITUTION SOUTH KOREA – Jeong-hyeop OFF
  • 86commentSainsbury’s resolute at the back for the Socceroos as South Korea break forward with a hefty looping effort which sees Sainsbury going toe to toe with Heung-min; the Australian defender has the patience and skill to shield the ball to safery before finding Luongo.
  • 84commentHeung-min has an opportunity to drag South Korea level as they win themselves a free kick from 35 yards out; Australia set their wall solidly but it’s evidently not needed as Heung-min hammers the ball 10 yards over the wall from a fair distance. Australia have six minutes + injury time to survive.
  • 82commentAustralia are almost caught undone by yet another quickly taken throw-in as it’s heaved into the penalty area where Jin-su’s effort is shielded by McKay who blocks Ryan off the ball; if McKay wasn’t awake to the threat it would have been very nervous times for the Socceroos.
  • 80commentAustralia’s first glimpse at silverware ticks down inside the final 10 minutes as Davidson battles down the left for possession before Du-ri’s incredible closing speed wins the day and allows him to somehow win the ball back. Davidson can’t believe the energy levels Du-ri possesses.
  • 78commentSouth Korea have found their second wind as Australia look to sit back and absorb the defensive pressure as Du-ri steams down the right before his hopeful ball is turned away at the top of the box by Milligan. He’s had a very busy night has the Australian defender.
  • 76commentStunning glove-work from Ryan as an optimistic through ball bears down ominously on goal before the Australian ‘keeper charges towards the ball and handles it perilously close to the field of play before he throws the ball back to himself safely with millimetres spare.
  • 74substitutionSUBSTITUTION AUSTRALIA – McKay ON
  • 73substitutionSUBSTITUTION AUSTRALIA – Franjic OFF
  • 72substitutionSUBSTITUTION AUSTRALIA – Troisi ON
  • 71substitutionSUBSTITUTION AUSTRALIA – Kruse OFF
  • 71substitutionSUBSTITUTION SOUTH KOREA – Kook-Young ON
  • 70substitutionSUBSTITUTION SOUTH KOREA – Joo-ho OFF
  • 69yellow cardYELLOW CARD – One of the more extraordinary cards issued as Kruse looks to have seriously injured his ankle and goes to ground before taking late contact; despite clearly being in pain and writhing in agony, Kruse cops a card for either back-chat or perceived simulation. Incredible.
  • 68yellow cardYELLOW CARD – The count keeps rising for Australia as Jedinak now earns a yellow for his effort in trying to dispossess Young-gwon. That’s the fourth and the Socceroos will be very fortunate if they can finish this encounter with the full complement of players.
  • 66commentNow it’s opening up again as Australia stream forward on the counter through Kruse who swerves inside and out of three challenges before tripping at the pivotal moment 10 yards out; if he hadn’t slipped he may very well have been able to play in Milligan or Luongo.
  • 64substitutionSUBSTITUTION AUSTRALIA – Juric ON
  • 63substitutionSUBSTITUTION AUSTRALIA – Cahill OFF
  • 63substitutionSUBSTITUTION SOUTH KOREA – Keun-ho ON
  • 62substitutionSUBSTITUTION SOUTH KOREA – Tae-hee OFF
  • 61commentSAVED – A brief respite for the Socceroos as Jedinak plays an immaculate through ball to Leckie who drags the ball to himself before opening up an angle from the left side of the box; hit powerfully it’s tipped over the crossbar by a very alert Jin-hyeon. Great play all around.
  • 59yellow cardYELLOW CARD – Australia’s third for the night and again it’s for a defender as Spiranovic’s challenge on Tae-hee is adjudged to be too physical in the air and sees the latter landing awkwardly on his back. He’s fine by Australia’s defending stocks are in danger.
  • 57commentIt’s the Socceroos with a chance on the counter but they’re unable to settle quickly enough as Cahill plays in Leckie who takes the ball into the right side of the box but is then haphazard with his footwork; at the end of it Australia earn a throw in but Leckie should have held it up inside the area.
  • 54commentA lull in proceedings in what has been an otherwise up tempo and fast paced game as South Korea sit behind the ball in numbers to play a steady and patient brand before the final delivery from the left looking for Sung-yeung is overhit and results in Ryan cleaning it up.
  • 51commentAustralia’s first meaningful foray on goal for the term is a little crazy as Cahill turns playmaker and tries to bend in a ball from the right for Kruse but it’s that far overhit that it curls past Jin-hyeon and is the best part of five yards wide of the target. Wasteful really.
  • 49commentSouth Korea with all the possession inside the first five minutes of the second stanza as Sung-yeung fires a hopeful ball across into the right channel but on this occasion the offside flag spares any potential Australian blushes. Socceroos very sluggish to start to the stanza.
  • 47commentAustralia under immense pressure as the start of the second half as Jeong-hyeop steams down the left before firing in a cross which lofts over his expected target and results in a tight battle on the right sideline; South Korea earn a throw in but it comes to nothing.
  • 45second halfWe’re away in the second half at Stadium Australia..
  • 45half timeHALF TIME; AUSTRALIA 1, SOUTH KOREA 0 – That’s it for the first stanza at Stadium Australia and we are in for one mammoth second half as Australia, after being outplayed for the majority of the half by a compact yet robust South Korea, open the scoring against the run of play with a cracking volley from Luongo. Australia can sense victory but you can be assured that South Korea will threaten yet again in the second..
  • 42goalGOAL AUSTRALIA; AUSTRALIA 1, SOUTH KOREA 0 – The breakthrough comes and it’s Australia, against the run of play who snare it, as Sainsbury slides through an inch-perfect through ball which splits two defenders before finding Luongo who glides in, closes to within 10 yards of home and unleashes with a rocket of a drive into the bottom right corner. Advantage Australia.
  • 39yellow cardYELLOW CARD – Davidson now heads into the book for what looks a pretty questionable shirt-pull just outside the box on Jeong-hyeop; Davidson is livid with the decision but it’s made and too late to retract the decision. The resulant free kick is sent straight to Ryan; Socceroos survive.
  • 37commentCHANCE – Australia rocking at the back as South Korea storm down their right before a low delivery finds Heung-min who volleys first time and only misses opening the scoring as Luongo’s sliding tackle manages to deflect the ball out of play. Socceroos are struggling.
  • 35commentCHANCE – Incredible counter from South Korea as Du-ri dallies down the left before the ball is sent looping to the middle of the box where Heung-min throws his frame around the ball to send an aerial effort just wide of the near post from six yards out. Spectacular movement.
  • 33commentFranjic walks the tightrope as sitting on a yellow card he charges in solidly from the side on Tae-hee to take the South Korean playmaker out of play and over the sideline. Tae-hee bounces up to his feet after the challenge but Referee Faghani is very interested in it. Nothing comes of it.
  • 30commentAustralia up in arms as Leckie is clearly impeded with a run down the left which would have seen him first to the ball to set up a counter attack before Sung-yeung gets there first. Jedinak enquires politely about a foul but Referee Faghani wants nothing of it. Interesting.
  • 27commentSocceroos again looking for Franjic down the right but on this occasion his cross into the area which searches for Cahill is cut out expertly well by Hyun-soo; South Korea still continue to be compact in defence. Little wonder why they haven’t conceded a goal in this tournament.
  • 24commentCHANCE – It’s now the Socceroos turn to have a crack as Kruse releases Cahill beautifully on the counter before the latter turns on his opponent from eight yards out and volleys and effort on-target which is tipped clear of danger by Jin-hyeon. Superb goal-keeping from the South Korean.
  • 21commentCHANCE – South Korea waste a gilt-edged opportunity as their free kick is swept into the box from the left and presents Tae-hwi with an open header at the neat post; he rises early with Sainsbury for company but can only steer a relatively easy header wide of the target. Should have buried it.
  • 18commentMilligan works overtime down the left as he takes three South Korean defenders on before managing to chip the ball towards his chest whereby it takes a deflection of Du-ri and drifts out of play. Milligan’s hard work earns the Socceroos a throw in which is then wasted.
  • 15commentA quick throw in almost catches Australia unawares as Sainsbury manages to marshall both himself and Franjic in defence as Du-ri’s throw on the right wing is almost sent through to Tae-hee who was lurking; Jedinak stands on the last line to clear though.
  • 12commentAustralia look for their reliable outlet down the right as Luongo plays through Kruse but the latter’s pace can’t be found as he tries to work his around Young-gwon who shields the ball out before Kruse could pick up a second touch to cross it in.
  • 9commentThis encounter is fast and frenetic already with the atmosphere buzzing with Australian fans full of expectation but most importantly, the way in which both teams are moving the ball is exciting. Game’s starting to open up already and we’ve barely played 10 minutes.
  • 6commentCHANCE – Trouble for South Korea early as terrific anticipation from Milligan sees him drawing contact from Hyun-soo 10 yards out; Jedinak steps up for duty with the free kick and thunders it just over the crossbar and onto the top netting. From some angles it looked as though it was in..
  • 4yellow cardYELLOW CARD – Franjic is booked inside the first five minutes as he clearly takes a handful of Joo-ho’s shirt as the latter tried to break into the area from the left channel. Franjic takes the card well before the resultant free kick is cleared by Sainsbury and Cahill.
  • 2commentTentative from South Korea as Heung-min goes for a scamper down the right channel befure turning inside to meet the full weight of Jedinak who had turned to shield the playmaker off the ball. Nothing in it but Heing-min’s down for some time before receiving treatment.
  • 0kick offReferee Faghani checks the welfare of both captains and play is brought underway at Stadium Australia. It’s Australia with first usage as they shift the ball from right to left in the first half..
  • 0pre kick offWelcome to Stadium Australia in Sydney as the Socceroos come face to face with their date with destiny as they match up against South Korea in the Final of the AFC Asian Cup. A sell-out crowd has filed in to create quite an atmosphere as the hosts search for their first ever piece of silverware. The anthems are completed and we are ready for what should be a memorable night..


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