The Socceroos have touched down in Newcastle ahead of their Asian Cup semi-final against tournament surprise packets the United Arab Emirates.
Ange Postecoglou’s men held a low-key recovery session upon yesterday's arrival in the Hunter following their quarter final victory over China on Thursday night.
— Socceroos (@Socceroos) January 23, 2015
Tim Cahill proved once again he is the man for the big occasion with a crucial brace against the Chinese, including a spectacular bicycle kick to break the deadlock at the start of the second half.
“Funny enough, my older brother texted me and told me I’d score two goals,” Cahill revealed.
“I won’t tell you what I said [in reply] but I believed we’d win and I knew I’d score.
“But it’s not cockiness, it’s actually you have to believe in yourself.”
Cahill’s heroics ensured the Socceroos’ passage to the semi-finals for the second straight Asian Cup, where they'll play the UAE after they stunned title-holders Japan in Sydney.
Mahdi Ali's side jumped to an early lead courtesy of a Ali Mabkhout strike and they hung on in extra-time to force penalties, after Japan had equalised late on.
Super-stars Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa both missed their spot kicks for Japan, while Ismail Ahmed held his nerve to seal a huge Asian Cup upset.
The shock result knocked the reigning champions out of the tourament and earned UAE a date with the Socceroos in Newcastle on Tuesday night for a spot in the final.
Despite Australia's unexpected opposition, the clash will no doubt be the biggest football match to be played in Newcastle and the first for nearly 20 years.
The Socceroos have not played an ‘A’ international in the Hunter since 1995, when they accounted for New Zealand 3-0 at Breakers Stadium.
Tickets for the semi-final have quickly been snapped up, with a final allocation going on sale at 10.00am Saturday AEDT, as the Socceroos prepare to play in front of another sold-out crowd.
For all the latest news from inside the Socceroos camp head to www.socceroos.com.au
Aussies Abroad: Nabbout, Urawa Red Diamonds win Emperors Cup final
Andrew Nabbout emerged an Emperors Cup Final winner with Urawa Red Diamonds after the J-League outfit defeated Vegalta Sendai 1-0 yesterday evening. Nabbout was an unused substitute as the Reds clinched the trophy thanks to an early strike from Tomoya Ugajin. It is Urawa’s
'Amazing reward': Cahill to feature in FIFA World Football Museum
A pair of Tim Cahill’s boots will join items like the FIFA World Cup trophy, match balls from some of football’s biggest occasions and rare match-worn shirts in FIFA’s World Football Museum in Switzerland. The Caltex Socceroos legend revealed on Instagram on Sunday morning (AE
Boyle given 'all clear' following 'nasty collision'
Caltex Socceroos attacker Martin Boyle has been given the “all clear” following a head knock in Hibernian’s Scottish Premiership win at Hamilton Academical on Sunday morning (AEDT). Boyle needed lengthy treatment before half time after clashing with Hamilton’s Gary Woods and s
Aussies Abroad: Rogic helps Celtic to big win, Mooy suffers late loss
Caltex Socceroos midfielder Tom Rogic provided an assist as Celtic thumped Kilmarnock 5-1 to leapfrog their opponents and move to the top of the Scottish Premiership table. But Huddersfield Town suffered a heartbreaking defeat, with Arsenal needing a late moment of magic to do