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China vs Australia

Asian Cup Finals 2015 - Quarter Final No. 2
China vs Australia
at Brisbane Stadium on 2015-01-20T10:30:00
Score: 2-0 (0-0)
Scorers: Tim Cahill (49', 65')
Official Info: AFC Details
Previous Match: Australia vs South Korea
Next Match: Australia vs U.A.E.

The pitch looked better during the warm-up, but it was unlikely to be much better after just a few days. Not to mention there was rain around. How long would it hold up? Bresciano was selected to start - why?? Presumably for his experience, given his poor form during his last hit-out. Jedinak is back in the starting line-up. China has great support in the stands.

The first half was a tense battle. China's #7 was a handful when he had the ball in a bit of space. Jedinak had a shocking first 30 minutes, giving the ball away several times and conceding a foolish yellow card. Both sides played attacking football. By the end of the half, we had thoroughly dominated possession and passes, and had had a mountain of set pieces. It amounted to a lot of pressure, but no goals.

The second half was illuminated by a stunning Tim Cahill bicycle kick for the first goal after just a few minutes. He's scored some great goals and this was one of his best. It relieved the tension and we were all over the Chinese for the next fifteen minutes, piling on the pressure in search of a second. Tim Cahill delivered. A trade-mark header in the bottom corner from long-range. Brilliant.

The tie was effectively over. China gave it a red-hot go but Australia absorbed the pressure and could have had a third. Great effort by our opponent, but we were too strong on the night.

Postecoglou can feel vindicated. He has never wavered in his approach and he has delivered. A new squad is being developed and it will be well-placed to qualify for the next World Cup.

What can you say about Tim Cahill? He is now being almost universally lauded as our greatest Socceroo ever. No argument from me. His ability to deliver when it matters most is simply astonishing. He has now scored against 23 different countries; his brace tonight his first goals against China.

Bring on the semi-final. In this sort of mood, our team can beat anyone.