The Socceroos were relieved to snatch a late equaliser through Massimo Luongo. (AAP: Darren England)
Just as they did in the 2015 Asian Cup final, Australia has broken South Korean hearts with a late goal.
- Massimo Luongo’s last-gasp equaliser sees Australia share in a 1-1 draw against South Korea in Brisbane
- Socceroos had dominated for large parts of the match but mostly frustrated by clinical Koreans
- Match was first for Mark Milligan as Socceroos captain and first for Graham Arnold as coach on home soil
Massimo Luongo’s equaliser in the dying seconds on Saturday night at Lang Park sealed a dramatic 1-1 draw with the Taeguk Warriors.
A spilt 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.
In truth, the goal was the least Australia deserved from a match it had dominated from the early stages.
A bright start by Graham Arnold’s men brought chances 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 halftime 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.
Both 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.
Australia takes on Lebanon in its final friendly before January’s Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates, while Korea stays in Brisbane for a friendly on Tuesday against Uzbekistan.
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