Australia and South Korea have both qualified for the quarter-finals of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup following their respective wins in Group A on Tuesday night.
The Socceroos were convincing 4-0 winners against Oman in front of over 50,000 fans in Sydney, while South Korea scrapped to a 1-0 victory against Kuwait in Canberra.
The results moved both teams to six points, with Australia first courtesy of their superior goal difference ahead of the pair’s meeting on Saturday night which will decide the group’s final standings.
As such, the Socceroos only need to claim a draw in Brisbane to top the group but South Korea will no doubt prove tough opposition after also recording back-to-back wins in the tournament.
For all the talk of Australia being overly reliant on Tim Cahill heading into Asia’s continental cup competition, Ange Postecoglou’s side have remarkably notched eight goals from eight different scorers in their opening two matches.
A-League stars Matt McKay, Mark Milligan and Tomi Juric all got their names on the scoresheet against Oman, while a rejuvenated Robbie Kruse also found the back of the net in his man of the match display.
Similar to Australia’s opener against Kuwait, the home side were nervy in the opening stages, with goalkeeper Mat Ryan called upon to make a couple of crucial saves.
However Australia’s opening goal, which was turned in from close range by McKay from a set-piece, seemed to extinguish Oman’s resistance and the Socceroos dominated the rest of the match.
It was a different story in the nation’s capital, where the highly fancied South Koreans were made to work for all three points against Kuwait in rainy conditions.
The South Korean squad has been riddled with injury and illness since arriving in Australia but managed to hang on for a 1-0 win courtesy of a first-half header from Nam tae-hee.
Both matches were watched by a huge crowd in the clubhouse on Tuesday night, with both sets of fans no doubt eagerly anticipating Saturday night’s clash.
We are expecting a record crowd for the encounter, which kicks off at 8pm, so are advising anyone wishing to watch the game to arrive at the club early to avoid disappointment.
SSC will be screening every match of the Asian Cup LIVE on our big screen throughout January so make sure you come down and experience the incredible atmosphere and football no matter which country you support.