Australia are the new football Champions of Asia after claiming an enthralling 2-1 extra-time win against Korea Republic in the Asian Cup final on Saturday night.
In an epic decider James Troisi was the hero for the Socceroos finding the back of the net in the 105th minute in front of nearly 80,000 fans at Stadium Australia.
Strathfield Sports Club attracted the biggest crowd we’ve ever experienced in our recent history as our community got behind both teams in what was a truly magical night.
Player of the tournament Massimo Luongo had given Ange Postecoglou’s side the lead on the stroke of half-time with a delightful piece of skill.
The 22-year-old took a touch after an incisive pass from Trent Sainsbury and blasted an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner after Korea Republic had arguably had the better chances in the first-half.
The solitary goal looked like it would be enough to seal victory as the match wore on in the second stanza but South Korean superstar Son Heung Min scored a sensational equaliser in injury-time to level the scores.
The Socceroos seemed to find another gear in extra-time as they regained control of the match and fashioned several chances to score.
When Tomi Juric took advantage of some indecision in the Korean Republic defence he was able to unleash a shot from the edge of the box which was parried away by goalkeeper Kim Jin Hyeon into the path of Troisi.
The second-half substitute fired home from close range sparking delirium around the country as the Socceroos hung on to claim their maiden Asian Cup title since moving to the federation in 2006.
The final result came as a huge relief for the Socceroos having been beaten by Japan in extra-time four years ago. They were given a rousing reception during their lap of honour after becoming the seventh host nation to claim the Asian Cup on home soil.
Meanwhile Korea Republic were humble in defeat at full-time, unfortunately unable to repeat their win over Australia in group stage. They had not conceded a goal leading into the final but will take satisfaction from also going one better following their third place finish in Qatar.
SSC would like to thank everyone who was a part of the history making night at the club. It’s fair to say allegiances were split amongst patrons but no one could’ve asked for a more enthralling spectacle which will long live in our memory.