Cahill, Champion: Australia takes Asian Cup crown

IMAGE, MLSSOCCER.COM

The second time was a charm for New York Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill and Australia as the host nation found themselves at a second consecutive Asian Cup Final, this time emerging 2-1 winners over South Korea.

“It’s a proud moment for our country,” Australia coach Ange Postecoglou told reporters after the match. “To be champions you got to display a whole range of qualities and today was about courage, belief and conviction. The players had that in abundance.”

Substitute James Troisi tapped in the winner after Korean keeper Kim Jin-Hyeon parried a Tomi Juric cross at his feet, sending the Socceroo faithful at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium into hysteria.

Cahill played all of 63 minutes, leaving the match with Australia clinging to a 1-0 lead from a Massimo Luongo bomb in the first half. South Korea continued to press the match, finding goal just seconds into the 90th minute. Son Heung-Min made quick work of the Australian defense, sauntering down the left side on a give-and-go, slotting his shot near post to send the match into overtime.

Despite Korea controlling the better of play, Australia took advantage of a rare defensive lapse, bringing home the country’s first domestic trophy in their AFC history.

“My only concern was because we conceded so late that the boys would be heartbroken, that they couldn’t pick themselves up, but I knew we’d finish stronger,” Postecoglou said. “We prided ourselves on being really fit and working hard. I told them we definitely have half an hour of petrol in us. I didn’t think they [South Korea] did.

“It was just a matter of taking our chance and we did it. I’m super proud of them. It was tough, it was a final and you gotta grind it out. No one knows better than me that it never goes to script.”

With international duty finally on the back burner, all eyes will be on Cahill’s next club move. The talismanic striker has been at odds with the New York Red Bulls since last season and there is no certainty he will rejoin the club. Reports have linked him to a Qatari move with Al Wahda.

  • DvlvRBOut

    Congrats Timmy.My respect for you is very great. #RedBullOut….