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▶ Korea Republic fight back to edge Australia in thriller [2024/02/05   ]

The Tottenham Hotspur forward hauled the Taeguk Warriors back into the game after Craig Goodwin had given the Australians a 42nd minute lead with a close-range volley and the Koreans will now meet Jordan at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium on Tuesday for a spot in the final.

The 31-year-old was brought down deep into injury time by Lewis Miller to allow Hwang Hee-chan to thump his spot-kick past Maty Ryan before Son bent a trademark free-kick over the wall 14 minutes into extra-time to take Jurgen Klinsmann’s team through.

Australia’s hopes of clawing their way back into the game were hit when substitute Aiden O’Neill was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Hwang late in the first period of extra-time.

Klinsmann’s side had dictated the rhythm of the opening quarter of an hour without prising open the Australian defence, and the Socceroos eventually broke out of the stranglehold to threaten.

Connor Metcalfe was off target with a pair of early efforts and it took an error from Hwang In-beom three minutes before the interval to provide the Australians with the opportunity to set-up the opening goal. Graham Arnold’s side did not refuse the offer.

Goodwin picked up possession on the edge of the area after the misplaced pass and the ball was worked to Atkinson, who burst down the right to chip his pass across goal towards the former Adelaide United man and he smashed a left foot volley beyond Jo.

The Australians should have doubled their advantage early in the second half when Martin Boyle met Goodwin’s cross with a downward header that Jo parried. Boyle’s attempt on the rebound was saved while Duke then thumping his attempted volley high over the bar.

That near miss roused the Koreans, but for all their probing down both flanks the Socceroos held firm, with Harry Souttar and Kye Rowles dominating at the back to keep out the repeated forays forward.

Arnold’s side remained dangerous on the counterattack, with Jo having to pluck a Duke header from under the crossbar and substitute Riley McGree sending a side-footed volley just over the bar.

Duke was off target again six minutes from time when his diving header went narrowly wide. It was a miss the Socceroos were to regret.

Korea’s relentless pressure paid off five minutes into injury time when Son’s determination and skill took him past Souttar for Lewis Miller to haul down the forward, leaving referee Ahmed Abu Bakar Al Kaf no option but to point to the spot with a nerveless Hwang striking to take the game into an additional 30 minutes.

Son then delivered the killer blow when, after Hwang had been brought down on the edge of the area, he struck his right-foot shot over the wall and beyond Ryan to spark scenes of jubilation.

- The origianl text resource is from AFC Official Website

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