Asian Cup final: South Korea boast recent record over Australia
Twice Asian Cup champions South Korea (13/5 match outsiders and 11/8 to lift the trophy) have lost just one of their last eight meetings with hosts and favourites Australia (11/10 and odds-on at 4/7), and they beat the Socceroos 1-0 in their final Group A game this tournament. The Taegeuk Warriors are tempting 7/1 chances for that scoreline once more.
Young striker Lee Jung-Hyup got the sole goal that day, and is his country’s joint top scorer this competition so far, with two, so back him at 14/5 to net again anytime. Bayer Leverkusen’s Son Heung-Min also has two strikes in Australia, and can be backed at the same price.
But it is the Aussies who are the home favourites, and in high spirits following a number of success in all sports they are hosting currently. There is certainly a hype around the country after young tennis hopes Nick Kryrgios and Bernard Tomic impressed in the Australian Open, and the national cricket team are smashing every opponent possible, including in the ODI Tri Series, prior to their hosting of the World Cup.
The Socceroos have their own star to cheer on in former Everton hero Tim Cahill, who has three goals this Asian Cup so far. Despite being 35, he is still Australia’s main man, and can claim the Golden Boot with a brace here, as he did in the quarters against China. Back host nation record scorer Cahill at 11/5 in the anytime market, and 7/1 for two or more again.
He will hope that Swindon Town’s Massimo Luongo can carry on providing goals, as he tops the assists charts for these finals with four. He has even scored once, and is a 4/1 shout to net again anytime.
Crystal Palace and Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak, meanwhile, has a goal to his name against this opposition, in the 2011 Asian Cup, so is 4/1 to strike again.
Both Australia and South Korea had reached the final this year after 2-0 wins over United Arab Emirates and Iraq in the semis respectively, and the duo will be equally determined on lifting the trophy. The Socceroos have never won this competition, this being their third finals, while the Taegeuk Warriors last triumphed 55 years ago.
But South Korea have a born winner as their head coach in Uli Stielike. The German, as a player, claimed a whole host of major trophies with the likes of Borussia Monchengladbach and Real Madrid. He also won the European Championship with West Germany and 1980 and reached the 1982 World Cup final playing in the sweeper role.
This 2015 Asian Cup final clash could go all the way, and you can take odds of 21/10 for a draw after 90 minutes.