2018 International Friendly, International Friendly
  • Massimo Luongo (90'+4')
  • Hwang Ui-Jo (22')

Australia save draw with South Korea but handed Asian Cup wake up

Just as they did in the 2015 Asian Cup final, Australia broke South Korean hearts with a late goal.

Massimo Luongo's equaliser in the dying seconds on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium sealed a dramatic 1-1 draw with the Taeguk Warriors. A spilled shot by South Korean goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu deep into stoppage time was pounced on by the Socceroos' midfielder, who poked the ball home from close range.

A VAR review upheld the goal, despite Korean protests about possible offside or a foul on Kim, and Australia escaped with a share of the spoils.

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold said the late strike was the least his team deserved after a match they had dominated.

"We got what we deserved," he said. "In the short time I've been in charge, the only thing I can judge is the performance on what we've trained. 24 shots to three ... the intent the players had to perform was outstanding. The attitude was outstanding. I've got a dressing room in there that is proud of the performance and I'm very proud of them as well."

Arnold's men made a bright start with chances falling to Tom Rogic, Josh Risdon and Aaron Mooy before the game changed in an instant.

Striker Hwang Ui-Jo latched onto a long ball that split Australia's defence, outpacing Trent Sainsbury before coolly finishing past Mat Ryan. That was Korea's only chance in the first half, as Australia huffed and puffed in front of goal but failed to convert their opportunities.

Of the past 94 goals scored by the Socceroos -- 38 of them have come from retired pair Tim Cahill or Mile Jedinak. Cahill did a lap of honour at half-time ahead of his Socceroos send-off against Lebanon on Tuesday in Sydney, and how the fans would have been hoping the country's record goal-scorer was still on the pitch when the match resumed.

Arnold turned to Australia's new generation in the second half, throwing on Scottish-born winger Martin Boyle for a debut and giving a second national team appearance to Awer Mabil. Boyle and Mabil added pace and verve as Australia pressed for an equaliser.

Ryan's acrobatic save to paw away Ju Se-jong's free-kick in the 71st minute kept Australia in the contest before the hosts laid siege on the Korean goal. Their efforts appeared to have been in vain before Luongo pounced with what was virtually the last kick of the game.

South Korean coach Paulo Bento conceded it would have been daylight robbery by his team to have claimed a win.

"Our opponent didn't deserve to lose this game," the Portuguese said. "That is a good result for us as well. Draw in the first game that we play away and, at the same time, we are sure that we need to improve a lot of things."

Australia take on Lebanon in their final friendly before January's Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates, while Korea stay in Brisbane for a friendly on Tuesday against Uzbekistan.