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Asian Cup: Missed chances cost Socceroos

Australia suffered Asian Cup heartbreak when losing their quarter-final clash against South Korea in extra-time.

The Socceroos were moments away from heading through to the semi-finals after Craig Goodwin’s first-half strike put them 1-0 in front.

However an equaliser deep in stoppage time at the end of the game, followed by a winner in extra-time, sent South Korea through.

South Korea will now play Jordan in the semi-final and are priced at 2.00 to go on and win the tournament.

The Socceroos will go away, lick their wounds and try and work out what went wrong in the quarter-final defeat.

Let’s take a look at Australia’s Asian Cup campaign on the whole.

Missed chances cost Socceroos

The biggest issue for the Socceross in the quarter-final loss to South Korea was the failure to take their chances.

South Korea dominated the possession throughout the game, but it was the Socceroos who had more opportunities in front of goal.

Graham Arnold’s men had 13 shots on goal, but only five of them were on target.

Goodwin did find the back of the net and the Socceroos should have put the game to bed before South Korea equalised at the death.

Connor Metcalfe and Mitchell Duke were the biggest culprits when missing great opportunities to increase the lead.

Socceroos style criticised

Throughout the tournament, much was made of Australia’s style of play and the way they had to battle through each game.

The Socceroos were undefeated as they made their way through the group stage, and they scored eight goals, conceding just one before the South Korea match.

Arnold’s side never blew the opposition away and may have struggled to break down sides who got everyone behind the ball.

Even so, they still managed to find a way to win and would have done the same against South Korea, had they taken their chances.

The style of play and system very much depends on the players that Arnold has available to him, and maybe the fans have been expecting too much.

Lack of players in the top leagues

The Socceroos only have one player in one of the very top leagues in Europe. That is goalkeeper Joe Gauci, who has only just signed for English Premier League side Aston Villa.

It is a far cry from what was dubbed the ‘golden generation’ when the Aussies were well represented in these leagues by the likes of Mark Viduka, Harry Kewell and Mark Schwarzer.

South Korea have five players in the top leagues. Three play in the Premier League, one in the German Bundesliga and one in Ligue 1 in France.

Even so the Socceroos were seconds away from beating them and should have won more convincingly.

Arnold still the man for the job?

Talk is already turning to the future of head coach Graham Arnold and whether he should remain in charge of the Socceroos.

In fairness Arnold has done a solid job with the players that he has available to him and they should really be preparing for the semi-finals.

Had that been the case, then there would be no talk about his future.

Arnold also did a great job at the FIFA World Cup and most of the Socceroos faithful will believe he deserves to keep his job.

There is also the question, who would replace Arnold if the axe did fall? And there are not many stand-out candidates.

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