Asian Cup: Australia coach Ange Postecoglou praises Socceroos' mental strength for win over South Korea

Updated January 31, 2015 23:49:56

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has praised his players for showing tremendous mental strength to win a dramatic Asian Cup final.

Australia won its maiden Asian Cup title with a 2-1 extra-time win over South Korea in front of a sold-out Stadium Australia.

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.

Ange Postecoglou

But its rearguard effort and attempts to win the match 1-0 in regular time were temporarily shelved when star midfielder Son Heung-min smashed home an equaliser in second-half injury time.

The hosts could have let their heads drop, but instead claimed the ascendancy in extra time after seeing the Koreans edge the regulation 90-minutes on the balance of play.

That new gear led to James Troisi scoring the winner in extra time, and Postecoglou lauded his charges for showing the inner strength required to stamp their names on the cup.

"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," an emotional 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," Postecoglou added. "No-one knows better than me that it never goes to script.

"There's always twists, but the courage of the players showed tonight. It was enormous."

'Aussies can take on the world'

I know the whole country will be off their couches and won't be able to sleep tonight.

Ange Postecoglou

Postecoglou said the win would reverberate around the country as one of the most important moments in its football history.

"That's the biggest thing for me, just to look around this stadium. I know the whole country will be off their couches and won't be able to sleep tonight," he said.

"It's a great game. It's a fantastic game. I'm biased. I think it's the greatest game in the world. And you know, hopefully from now on, us Aussies can take on the world with it.

"I've got a real belief in those young guys, not just the young guys, this whole group. And I just got real belief in Aussie footballers."

Topics:socceroos, soccer, sport, sydney-2000, nsw, australia, korea-republic-of

First posted January 31, 2015 23:47:07

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Updated January 31, 2015 23:49:56

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has praised his players for showing tremendous mental strength to win a dramatic Asian Cup final.

Australia won its maiden Asian Cup title with a 2-1 extra-time win over South Korea in front of a sold-out Stadium Australia.

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.

Ange Postecoglou

But its rearguard effort and attempts to win the match 1-0 in regular time were temporarily shelved when star midfielder Son Heung-min smashed home an equaliser in second-half injury time.

The hosts could have let their heads drop, but instead claimed the ascendancy in extra time after seeing the Koreans edge the regulation 90-minutes on the balance of play.

That new gear led to James Troisi scoring the winner in extra time, and Postecoglou lauded his charges for showing the inner strength required to stamp their names on the cup.

"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," an emotional 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," Postecoglou added. "No-one knows better than me that it never goes to script.

"There's always twists, but the courage of the players showed tonight. It was enormous."

'Aussies can take on the world'

I know the whole country will be off their couches and won't be able to sleep tonight.

Ange Postecoglou

Postecoglou said the win would reverberate around the country as one of the most important moments in its football history.

"That's the biggest thing for me, just to look around this stadium. I know the whole country will be off their couches and won't be able to sleep tonight," he said.

"It's a great game. It's a fantastic game. I'm biased. I think it's the greatest game in the world. And you know, hopefully from now on, us Aussies can take on the world with it.

"I've got a real belief in those young guys, not just the young guys, this whole group. And I just got real belief in Aussie footballers."

Topics:socceroos, soccer, sport, sydney-2000, nsw, australia, korea-republic-of

First posted January 31, 2015 23:47:07

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Updated February 01, 2015 00:09:29

Australia won its first ever Asian Cup title with a nervy and dramatic 2-1 extra-time win over South Korea at Stadium Australia in Sydney.

James Troisi etched his name in Australian football history with the winner late in extra-time, lashing home from close range after superb work on the byline from Tomi Juric.

The Western Sydney Wanderers striker held up the ball remarkably before nutmegging his marker, before putting the ball on a plate for Troisi to finish.

Rising star Massimo Luongo had put Australia ahead in the first half of regular time with a sizzling finish, receiving a good pass from Trent Sainsbury before turning 180 degrees to skin his marker before unleashing an unstoppable drive to beat Kim Jim Hyeon.

But South Korea, which edged the game on the balance of play, finally got a deserved equaliser when star midfielder Son Heung-min scored in the dying seconds of the second-half to send the match to extra time, after a physical, end-to-end encounter.

The crowd was deflated by Son's goal heading into extra time, but Troisi's strike late in the first half of extra time changed the mood entirely as the sell-out crowd erupted as the hosts found themselves back in the lead.

"I'm no good for words right now. I'm just really just super proud of everyone," an emotional Ange Postecoglou said.

"The players, the staff, the whole organisation, and I couldn't be happier, mate. It was tough, it was a final and you've got to grind it out.

"The courage of players showed tonight, it was enormous."

I couldn't be happier, mate. It was tough, it was a final and you've got to grind it out. The courage of players showed tonight, it was enormous.

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou

For much of the match, South Korea looked to have the edge with Son and Ki Sung-yeung creating a host of chances throughout the match, and for much of extra-time.

But Australia composed itself in extra-time, taking the ascendancy in the first 15 minutes in the lead up to Troisi's winner.

The Socceroos did what was required towards the match's end as they played keep ball in the corner, before the referee's whistle signalled one of the greatest footballing results in the country's history.

Socceroos take lead through Luongo screamer

The Socceroos were at times on the ropes in a high-octane first half where both sides traded glorious chances to take the lead.

Star man Son found himself winded after copping a Jedinak arm to the throat just three minutes into the match, which saw the Australian captain scribbled into the referee's book.

Right-back Ivan Franjic also saw yellow for a foul in the Australian area in a physical contest.

A fast counter-attack saw Australia win a free-kick 30 yards out, which Jedinak nearly profited on, with his curling side-footer scraping the roof of the net.

South Korea responded through a Ki free-kick from the left flank, which found the head of Kwak Tae-hwi who nodded wide.

Australia countered, with Robbie Kruse threading an excellent pass to Tim Cahill in the box, who rifled in a right-footed shot to produce an excellent save from Kim Jin-hyeon.

The Koreans then missed two chances in rapid succession as Son volleyed over the bar following excellent work on the left flank from Ki Sung-yeung.

Barely a minute later, right-back Cha Du-ri charged towards the byline before putting it on a place for Son, who saw his shot deflected over the bar.

Jason Davidson was booked for several shirt tugs on Jang Hyun-soo's shirt just outside the box, but Ki's free-kick was weak and easily saved by Mat Ryan.

Australia, on the ropes and under pressure, then found itself ahead right before the half-time whistle as Luongo's shot exploded past Kim to send the Sydney crowd into raptures.

Heartbreak for Kruse as Son levels it late

Despite Luongo's goal, South Korea continued in a dominant fashion to start the second half, as defender Kwak headed straight to Australian goalkeeper Ryan from a free kick.

Australia's best chance of the second stanza came soon after, however, as Leckie broke into space to smash a left-footed shot towards the near post, only for Kim to crucially tip over.

Kruse tried to burst through space and beat his man, but went down too easily as the ref ruled there was no foul on the Australian forward as the Socceroos' attack fizzled out.

But Kruse was on the ground again just a minute later with what looked to be a recurrence of his knee ligament injury. Bizarrely, 63 minutes into the match, he was yellow-carded for time-wasting as the Australian physios treated the midfielder.

The match would end there for Kruse as the shattered player was stretchered off, to be replaced by James Troisi.

Franjic also looked to be struggling with a toe injury as he went off for Matt McKay.

Troisi saw his shot deflected and saved by Kim after Leckie broke down the right to put in a good short cross, before a long South Korean throw nearly caught the Australian defence napping before eventually being cleared.

Son and Ki both wasted free-kick opportunities, before Leckie again countered down the flank, only to spoil the attack with a poor touch.

Troisi looked to dance around two of his markers before hitting a left-footed shot wide.

South Korea's equaliser then arrived in the dying seconds of injury time as a brilliant one-two between Son and Ki saw Son glide into the area to smash the ball past Ryan to send the match into extra-time.

Topics:socceroos, sport, soccer, sydney-2000, nsw, australia, korea-republic-of

First posted January 31, 2015 22:29:15

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Updated February 01, 2015 00:09:29

Australia won its first ever Asian Cup title with a nervy and dramatic 2-1 extra-time win over South Korea at Stadium Australia in Sydney.

James Troisi etched his name in Australian football history with the winner late in extra-time, lashing home from close range after superb work on the byline from Tomi Juric.

The Western Sydney Wanderers striker held up the ball remarkably before nutmegging his marker, before putting the ball on a plate for Troisi to finish.

Rising star Massimo Luongo had put Australia ahead in the first half of regular time with a sizzling finish, receiving a good pass from Trent Sainsbury before turning 180 degrees to skin his marker before unleashing an unstoppable drive to beat Kim Jim Hyeon.

But South Korea, which edged the game on the balance of play, finally got a deserved equaliser when star midfielder Son Heung-min scored in the dying seconds of the second-half to send the match to extra time, after a physical, end-to-end encounter.

The crowd was deflated by Son's goal heading into extra time, but Troisi's strike late in the first half of extra time changed the mood entirely as the sell-out crowd erupted as the hosts found themselves back in the lead.

"I'm no good for words right now. I'm just really just super proud of everyone," an emotional Ange Postecoglou said.

"The players, the staff, the whole organisation, and I couldn't be happier, mate. It was tough, it was a final and you've got to grind it out.

"The courage of players showed tonight, it was enormous."

I couldn't be happier, mate. It was tough, it was a final and you've got to grind it out. The courage of players showed tonight, it was enormous.

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou

For much of the match, South Korea looked to have the edge with Son and Ki Sung-yeung creating a host of chances throughout the match, and for much of extra-time.

But Australia composed itself in extra-time, taking the ascendancy in the first 15 minutes in the lead up to Troisi's winner.

The Socceroos did what was required towards the match's end as they played keep ball in the corner, before the referee's whistle signalled one of the greatest footballing results in the country's history.

Socceroos take lead through Luongo screamer

The Socceroos were at times on the ropes in a high-octane first half where both sides traded glorious chances to take the lead.

Star man Son found himself winded after copping a Jedinak arm to the throat just three minutes into the match, which saw the Australian captain scribbled into the referee's book.

Right-back Ivan Franjic also saw yellow for a foul in the Australian area in a physical contest.

A fast counter-attack saw Australia win a free-kick 30 yards out, which Jedinak nearly profited on, with his curling side-footer scraping the roof of the net.

South Korea responded through a Ki free-kick from the left flank, which found the head of Kwak Tae-hwi who nodded wide.

Australia countered, with Robbie Kruse threading an excellent pass to Tim Cahill in the box, who rifled in a right-footed shot to produce an excellent save from Kim Jin-hyeon.

The Koreans then missed two chances in rapid succession as Son volleyed over the bar following excellent work on the left flank from Ki Sung-yeung.

Barely a minute later, right-back Cha Du-ri charged towards the byline before putting it on a place for Son, who saw his shot deflected over the bar.

Jason Davidson was booked for several shirt tugs on Jang Hyun-soo's shirt just outside the box, but Ki's free-kick was weak and easily saved by Mat Ryan.

Australia, on the ropes and under pressure, then found itself ahead right before the half-time whistle as Luongo's shot exploded past Kim to send the Sydney crowd into raptures.

Heartbreak for Kruse as Son levels it late

Despite Luongo's goal, South Korea continued in a dominant fashion to start the second half, as defender Kwak headed straight to Australian goalkeeper Ryan from a free kick.

Australia's best chance of the second stanza came soon after, however, as Leckie broke into space to smash a left-footed shot towards the near post, only for Kim to crucially tip over.

Kruse tried to burst through space and beat his man, but went down too easily as the ref ruled there was no foul on the Australian forward as the Socceroos' attack fizzled out.

But Kruse was on the ground again just a minute later with what looked to be a recurrence of his knee ligament injury. Bizarrely, 63 minutes into the match, he was yellow-carded for time-wasting as the Australian physios treated the midfielder.

The match would end there for Kruse as the shattered player was stretchered off, to be replaced by James Troisi.

Franjic also looked to be struggling with a toe injury as he went off for Matt McKay.

Troisi saw his shot deflected and saved by Kim after Leckie broke down the right to put in a good short cross, before a long South Korean throw nearly caught the Australian defence napping before eventually being cleared.

Son and Ki both wasted free-kick opportunities, before Leckie again countered down the flank, only to spoil the attack with a poor touch.

Troisi looked to dance around two of his markers before hitting a left-footed shot wide.

South Korea's equaliser then arrived in the dying seconds of injury time as a brilliant one-two between Son and Ki saw Son glide into the area to smash the ball past Ryan to send the match into extra-time.

Topics:socceroos, sport, soccer, sydney-2000, nsw, australia, korea-republic-of

First posted January 31, 2015 22:29:15

More stories from New South Wales