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Son Heung-min sends Socceroos packing as Lewis Miller's brain fades end Asian Cup dream

The Socceroos have been knocked out of the Asian Cup in heartbreaking fashion, in a 2-1 extra-time loss.

Pictured Son Heung-min left and Socceroos right.

A late piece of Son Heung-min magic has seen the Socceroos crash out of the Asian Cup in heartbreaking fashion, throwing away a 1-0 lead in their 2-1 in extra time loss on Saturday morning. Aussie Lewis Miller had a game to forget after two crucial errors off the bench resulted in two goals and ultimately saw Australia knocked out of the tournament.

Craig Goodwin gave Australia the lead when he volleyed home in the 42nd minute in front of 39,632 fans at the Al Janoub Stadium. Australia then failed to capitalise on their one-goal advantage, missing multiple chances to double their lead before the game turned on its head when Graham Arnold's impact substitute, Miller, had a nightmare stint after being brought on to help defend their 1-0 lead.

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With the Socceroos leading 1-0 deep into stoppage time, Miller carelessly and needlessly dived in late on South Korea's superstar captain Son and gave away a penalty. Hwang Hee-chan coolly slotted the spot-kick into the top corner in the sixth minute of injury time, taking the game to extra-time.

Australia's defender #20 Lewis Miller fouls Australia's forward #11 Marco Tilio during the Qatar 2023 AFC Asian Cup quarter-final football match between Australia and South Korea at Al-Janoub Stadium in al-Wakrah, south of Doha, on February 2, 2024. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP) (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)
Socceroos defender Lewis Miller had a game to forget in the Qatar 2023 AFC Asian Cup quarter-final match between Australia and South Korea. Image: Getty (GIUSEPPE CACACE via Getty Images)

Then in the 104th minute, Miller was again the culprit, bringing down Hwang on the edge of the area. Son then lifted a quality free-kick over the wall into the top corner to put South Korea in front.

Just minutes later Australia's hopes of a second-half extra-time comeback ended when they were reduced to 10 men. Aiden O'Neill carelessly caught Hwang with his studs as he lunged into a challenge. His initial yellow card was upgraded to a straight red after a VAR referral.

From there Australia offered very little as South Korea saw out the game and teed up a semi-final against Jordan, who beat Tajikistan 1-0. Following the match Socceroos fans were heartbroken at the way they lost, many feeling bad for Miller's shocker, saying it never should have come down to his errors if we had finished our chances.

Graham Arnold "devastated" by Asian Cup defeat

Australian coach Graham Arnold said the result was devastating as he feels his side was in control for the first 90 minutes until the penalty. "It's quite devastating, quite emotional for the players and staff how we finished the game. We played well for the first 90 minutes till we conceded the penalty," Arnold said.

"South Korea's players play in top leagues with a fast tempo and they can keep it up. They're playing for teams like Tottenham, Wolves - they can run the legs off teams and punish us in the end.

It is Australia's second consecutive Asian Cup quarter-final exit and it was another great escape for the Koreans, who needed a 96th-minute penalty to stay alive. It is the fourth time in five games that Jurgen Klinsmann’s South Korea have scored in second-half injury time in Qatar.

"Obviously it was another drama, we're extremely happy and thrilled to go through. It was a hard fight with Australia, we expected it. But to go 120 minutes again, I'm proud of this team and their spirit," Klinsmann said.

with AAP

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