Australia sealed their first Asian Cup title today with a dramatic 2-1 win after extra time over South Korea at Stadium Australia in Sydney.
In what was a pulsating encounter, Massimo Luongo gave the host nation the lead on the stroke of half-time and the Socceroos looked set to claim a narrow victory until Son Heung-Min struck a stoppage time equaliser to send the game into extra time.
The tension was palpable inside the stadium until James Troisi bagged what proved to be the winning goal in the 105th minute to send the partisan home crowd into raptures.
"I'm no good for words right now, I'm just super proud of everyone and I couldn't be happier," Australia coach Ange Postecoglou said.
"The courage the players showed tonight was enormous.
"I know the whole country will be off their couches and won't be able to sleep tonight.
"Hopefully from now on our Aussies can take on the world."
The match itself was a true reflection of the tournament - a contest played at a ferocious pace, providing the spectators with a plethora of memorable moments as Australia capped off the first Asian Cup in history to be staged outside of Asia with an enthralling victory.
Despite numerous chances for South Korea to go in front, it was Australia who edged ahead slightly against the run of play in the dying embers of the first half.
Trent Salisbury, who scored the opener in the Socceroos' semi-final win over the United Arab Emirates, turned provider as he fed Luongo with an inch-perfect pass, who hit a rasping shot into the corner of the net.
Australia remained disciplined until the late stages of the final but South Korea were clearly in the mood to spoil the party as Son found room in the box before he lashed home a last-gasp leveller in the 91st minute.
That goal would have reinvigorated haunting memories for the Australians after they fell victim to an extra-time winner against Japan in 2011, but there was to be no repeat this time around as Troisi reacted quickest in the box after Kim Jin-Hyeon could only parry a Tomi Juric cross to fire the ball high into the net as Australia etched their name into Asian Cup history.
The devastating blow for the Koreans means their long wait for a third Asian Cup title goes on, while the 76,385 crowd in Sydney celebrated their country's maiden success at international level.
Australia switched to the Asian Football Confederation back in 2006 in order to benefit from wider exposure and tougher competition, and it gave them a better chance of ensuring direct qualification for the FIFA World Cup as Asia has four automatic spots, whereas the top-ranked team from Oceania play-off against the fifth-placed South American team.
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