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All about Australia ahead of Asian Cup final

Factbox on Asian Cup finalists Australia:

Reuters , Thursday 29 Jan 2015
Australia
Australia's Jason Davidson (2nd R) celebrates with teammates Tim Cahill (L), Mathew Leckie and Mark Milligan (R) after scoring a goal against UAE during their Asian Cup semi-final soccer match at the Newcastle Stadium in Newcastle January 27, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)
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Nickname: Socceroos

Asian Cup record:

Previous appearances in finals: (2) 2007, 2011.

Best performance: Runners-up (2011)

FIFA world ranking: 100

How they qualified: Hosts

Path to the final:

Group matches

Beat Kuwait 4-1 in Melbourne (Tim Cahill, Massimo Luongo, Mile Jedinak (pen), James Troisi)

Beat Oman 4-0 in Sydney (Matt McKay, Robbie Kruse, Mark Milligan (pen), Tomi Juric)

Lost 1-0 to South Korea in Brisbane

Quarter-finals

Beat China 2-0 in Brisbane (Tim Cahill 2)

Semi-finals

Beat United Arab Emirates 2-0 in Newcastle (Trent Sainsbury, Jason Davidson)

 

 

Coach: Ange Postecoglou

Greek-born but Australian through-and-through, Postecoglou has earned a reputation over the last 18 years for rebuilding teams and getting them to play in an adventurous, attacking style.

The Brisbane Roar squad he overhauled won successive A-League titles in 2011 and 2012 and the 49-year-old had started a similar project at Melbourne Victory before he was lured to the Socceroos.

Replaced German technocrat Holger Osieck in October 2013 and embarked on a mission to rejuvenate the ageing Socceroos squad, earning plaudits, but no points, with some lively displays at the World Cup in Brazil.

 

Key player: Tim Cahill. Age: 35. Midfielder.

Australia's totem, Cahill never had much pace to lose so his effectiveness looks undiminished by age.

Always an aerial threat despite his modest height, the New York Red Bulls midfielder still manages to escape his markers and get above much taller defenders.

Already his country's all-time top scorer, he has also been Australia's best marksman in the tournament with three goals, including a double in the quarter-final against China.

 

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Mathew Ryan (Club Bruges), Mitchell Langerak (Borussia Dortmund), Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United)

Defenders: Matthew Spiranovic (Western Sydney Wanderers), Trent Sainsbury (PEC Zwolle), Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Chris Herd (Aston Villa), Izaz Behich (Bursaspor), Jason Davidson (West Bromwich Albion), Ivan Franjic (Torpedo Moscow)

Midfielders: Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace), Mark Bresciano (Al Gharafa), Tommy Oar (Utrecht), Massimo Luongo (Swindon), Terry Antonis (Sydney FC), James Troisi (Zulte Waregem), Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar)

Forwards: Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), Matthew Leckie (FC Ingolstadt), Robbie Kruse (Bayer Leverkusen), Tomi Juric (Western Sydney Wanderers), Nathan Burns (Wellington Phoenix) 

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