A late piece of Son Heung-min magic has seen the Socceroos crash out of the Asian Cup in heartbreaking fashion, throwing away a 1-0 lead in their 2-1 in extra time loss on Saturday morning. Aussie Lewis Miller had a game to forget after two crucial errors off the bench resulted in two goals and ultimately saw Australia knocked out of the tournament.
Craig Goodwin gave Australia the lead when he volleyed home in the 42nd minute in front of 39,632 fans at the Al Janoub Stadium. Australia then failed to capitalise on their one-goal advantage, missing multiple chances to double their lead before the game turned on its head when Graham Arnold's impact substitute, Miller, had a nightmare stint after being brought on to help defend their 1-0 lead.
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With the Socceroos leading 1-0 deep into stoppage time, Miller carelessly and needlessly dived in late on South Korea's superstar captain Son and gave away a penalty. Hwang Hee-chan coolly slotted the spot-kick into the top corner in the sixth minute of injury time, taking the game to extra-time.
Then in the 104th minute, Miller was again the culprit, bringing down Hwang on the edge of the area. Son then lifted a quality free-kick over the wall into the top corner to put South Korea in front.
Just minutes later Australia's hopes of a second-half extra-time comeback ended when they were reduced to 10 men. Aiden O'Neill carelessly caught Hwang with his studs as he lunged into a challenge. His initial yellow card was upgraded to a straight red after a VAR referral.
From there Australia offered very little as South Korea saw out the game and teed up a semi-final against Jordan, who beat Tajikistan 1-0. Following the match Socceroos fans were heartbroken at the way they lost, many feeling bad for Miller's shocker, saying it never should have come down to his errors if we had finished our chances.
I genuinely feel bad for Lewis Miller as this is hauntingly bad and for me 1000x worse than Degenek in 2019 #AUSvKOR
— Adam (@axmlsrkn) February 2, 2024
I get duke being also to blame but missed shots happen all the time. Miller has literally sold us twice there. He consciously went in for a tackle he wasn’t winning and the fk challenge. Biggest fumble in world fumble tonight
— Brad 🇦🇺🦘 (@_____Brad______) February 2, 2024
Nathan Atkinson was single handedly fending off all Korean attacks from the left...Arnold took him off for Lewis Miller who brought down Son inside box and Hwang outside - two fouls that resulted in the two Korean 🇰🇷 goals...must be a huge talking point now!!#AFCAsianCup2023
— Somsubhra Das (@somsubhrad) February 2, 2024
Lewis Miller unfortunately massively costing his country today! A real shame for the Hearts boys who have done so well the last couple of weeks 👏🏻👏🏻 https://t.co/6xwo8PIibC
— 𝗥𝘆𝗮𝗻 (@ryan15269) February 2, 2024
Sorry, not only was it a Lewis Miller disasterclass but we also could have been 3-0 up at one point.
— aukism (@aukist) February 2, 2024
Graham Arnold "devastated" by Asian Cup defeat
Australian coach Graham Arnold said the result was devastating as he feels his side was in control for the first 90 minutes until the penalty. "It's quite devastating, quite emotional for the players and staff how we finished the game. We played well for the first 90 minutes till we conceded the penalty," Arnold said.
"South Korea's players play in top leagues with a fast tempo and they can keep it up. They're playing for teams like Tottenham, Wolves - they can run the legs off teams and punish us in the end.
It is Australia's second consecutive Asian Cup quarter-final exit and it was another great escape for the Koreans, who needed a 96th-minute penalty to stay alive. It is the fourth time in five games that Jurgen Klinsmann’s South Korea have scored in second-half injury time in Qatar.
"Obviously it was another drama, we're extremely happy and thrilled to go through. It was a hard fight with Australia, we expected it. But to go 120 minutes again, I'm proud of this team and their spirit," Klinsmann said.
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