Don’t miss a minute of Asian Cup action this Tuesday night at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle, when a rejuvenated Socceroos side goes against a resilient United Arab Emirates squad in the second Semi Final, with the winner to play either South Korea or Iraq for a shot at Asian Soccer’s greatest prize.
2015 Asian Cup Preview
Australia got their Semi Final spot thanks to a brilliant 2-0 Asian Cup win verse China on Thursday night at Brisbane Stadium, with Tim Cahill who’s rated as arguably the greatest ever Socceroo, scoring both goals in dramatic fashion. That victory ensures that Australia will go in as the team to beat for the match at Newcastle, where the atmosphere and support for the host nation should be second to none.
The United Arab Emirates are facing, it would seem at least on talent, mission impossible against the Socceroos. But most gave them no chance against reigning champs Japan, and look how that turned out. UAE simply stunned the soccer world, winning on penalties after a 1-1 scoreline held up after ninety minutes of regular time, and another thirty in the extra session. Known as ‘the Falcons’, the UAE will try to soar to even greater heights.
Australia vs. South Korea Times
When: Saturday 31 January (8:00 pm Sydney Time)
Where: Stadium Australia, in Sydney
Live TV: Fox Sports 5 (Foxtel) and ABC TV
Asian Cup Live Online Streaming
You can watch the Socceroos take the trophy in Asian Cup finals on the Fox Sports channel. If you aren’t a subscriber to Foxtel, you may wish to check out their latest plans such as the ‘Epic’ Sports Combo offer, which includes live mobile streaming with Foxtel Go.
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Best off there’s still time to get in for the Asian Cup final, or this year’s Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona featuring the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots on ESPN.
The host nation got off to a fantastic start against Kuwait, winning comfortably before going to Stadium Australia and putting together an awesome 90 minutes, overwhelming team Oman with Tim Cahill leading in the absence of injured skipper Mile Jedinak.
Next up was a trip to Brisbane to take on the team from Korea Republic, with a top seed in their group up for grabs, and on figures alone they should have won, but an inability to finish off attacks cost them during a 1-0 loss. While the outcome of Australia vs. South Korea was certainly disappointing, the team’s confidence remained unshaken as they entered the knock-out stage to take on China.
With the Socceroos facing elimination, the team’s old warrior Tim Cahill took his game to another level when scoring two remarkable goals, as Australia defeated ‘Team Dragon’ 2-0 to close within one game of Asia’s supreme soccer prize.
Socceroos Players to Watch
Tim Cahill has been outstanding throughout this tournament and he was at it again on Thursday night against China, scoring both goals in the 2-0 win to ensure that the host nation comfortably progressed to the Semi Final. In the air, he is the best in the business, but he is just as effective at ground level, making him a nearly impossible match-up for opposing teams.
Trent Sainsbury was outstanding in defence in the absence of Matthew Spiranovic, taking control of the back half of the ground and showing great leadership qualities, something which probably hasn’t been seen since the early days of Lucas Neil and his captaincy. He was up against a lightning quick attack, and he rarely lost a battle.
UAE kicked off their 2015 Asian Cup campaign with a comprehensive victory over Qatar before a win over Bahrain, which was followed up by a 1-0 defeat to Iran. The narrow loss to Iran was particularly trying, as it meant they had to face reigning champs Japan in the Quarter Final.
The following two and a bit hours of soccer just stunned the world. The UAE took the lead after seven minutes thanks to a great strike from Ali Mabkhout. They defended bravely until the 81st minute when Gaku Shibasaki equalised. They couldn’t be split after 90 minutes, then again after extra time, and on to the shoot out, where Japan gifted the UAE victory with two horrendous penalty misses.
This encounter against the Socceroos will be an equally huge test for the UAE given they have had one less day to prepare, and enter off a grueling thirty minutes of extra soccer in addition to a suspenseful shoot-out.
Game One: UAE 4-1 Qatar
Game Two: UAE 2-1 Bahrain
Game Three: UAE 0-1 Iran
Quarter Final: UAE 1 (5)-1 (4) Japan
UAE Players to Watch
Omar Abdulraham is a star for his country, and it’s no surprise that he is being chased by big European clubs. He has been outstanding in the 2015 Asian Cup in the midfield, creating many chances and being very clever about the way he goes about it. He is a big game player when it comes to his country, and this is one of the biggest ones he’ll play.
Ali Mabkhout broke the record for fastest goal at the AFC Asian Cup, scoring after just 14 seconds for the United Arab Emirates against Bahrain. He has been the leading goal scorer for the UAE in the Asian Cup, scoring on four occasions including the goal against Japan in the Quarter Final, and is the one the midfield will to in order to get past Australian keeper Matt Ryan.
Three Reasons To Watch Australia vs UAE:
1. Will Tim Cahill continue his remarkable run, or will a new hero emerge?
2. Now that they are favoured to take the trophy, can the Socceroos step up to the pressure?
3. It will be shown on Foxtel, through the Fox Sports channel on your local listings and as such can be streamed live on a mobile device with Foxtel Go.