Winning farewell for Cahill, Japan, Korea Republic stay unbeaten, China PR held
Kuala Lumpur: Australia turned on the power in Tim Cahill's farewell as they defeated Lebanon 3-0, Japan and Korea Republic maintained their unbeaten run while Palestine held China PR in international friendlies on Tuesday.
Australia 3-0 Lebanon
Brisbane: Martin Boyle grabbed a brace on his Socceroos starting debut as Australia farewelled Cahill in style, defeating Lebanon 3-0 at ANZ Stadium on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old struck an opening-half double and laid on a strike for Mathew Leckie in front of 33,268 fans in Sydney in Australia's buildup to the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
Cahill entered the field to a standing ovation in the 82nd minute for his 108th and final Socceroos appearance, as Australia extended their unbeaten run in international friendlies to six consecutive matches.
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Mathew Ryan, Trent Sainsbury, Aziz Behich and Aaron Mooy were the only survivors from the starting 11 who drew 1-1 with Korea Republic in Brisbane last Saturday.
One change saw Boyle summoned for his first Socceroos start, and the Hibernian attacker was rewarded for a lively opening when he fired in his first goal for Australia via the aid of a deflection after a mazy dribble from the left flank.
Boyle sealed his brace and underlined a dominant 45 minutes from the Socceroos on the cusp of the interval, teeing a rebound across the line after Milos Degenek thumped Mooy’s corner against the crossbar with a bullet header.
Behich came close to celebrating his 11th consecutive Socceroos start early in the second half with a goal, but his fierce right-foot drive flashed into the side netting after some neat build up with Awer Mabil.
Australia did have their third midway through the second half, as Boyle clipped an inch-perfect cross into the area for Leckie to drill home on the half-volley.
Andrew Nabbout sent two opportunities just over the bar and hit the post in an eventful late cameo, while only some desperate Lebanon defending prevented Cahill from etching another moment into his glittering Socceroos record.
Korea Republic 4-0 Uzbekistan
Brisbane: Paulo Bento's Korea Republic cruised to a 4-0 victory over Uzbekistan at the The Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre Stadium in Brisbane as the Taeguk Warriors extended their unbeaten run ahead of their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 campaign.
Bento's men, who conceded a late goal against Australia on Saturday, took an early lead through Nam Tae-hee's volley in the ninth minute and doubled the advantage in the 24th minute through Hwang Ui-jo as the East Asians took a 2-0 lead at half-time.
Korea Republic increased their intensity of play in the second half and claimed their third goal in the 70th minute after Moon Seon-min latched on to a loose ball following a corner which took Uzbekistan goalkeeper Ignatiy Nesterov by surprise.
There was more misery for Uzbekistan as they conceded another when substitute Suk Hyun-jun found the back of the net in the 82nd minute to win the tie 4-0.
Korea Republic will have Kyrgyz Republic, China PR and Philippines for company in Group C of the AFC Asian Cup in January.
Japan 4-0 Kyrgyz Republic
Toyota: Japan turned on the style as they powered past Kyrgyz Republic 4-0 in their international friendly at the Toyota Stadium, continuing head coach Hajime Moriyasu's unbeaten reign.
The Samurai Blue enjoyed a dream start with Ryosuke Yamanaka giving them the lead as early as the second minute.
That set the tone of the match as Japan dominated the tie, with Genki Haraguchi doubling their lead in the 19th minute.
Japan took the foot off the pedal after that and their third, after several misses, came in the 74th minute through Yuya Osako.
The four-time AFC Asian Cup winners further extended their lead just a minute later, with Shoya Nakajima finding the back of the net to extend Japan's unbeaten run to five since their 3-2 defeat to Belgium in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.
Japan will now look forward to their final training camp in December ahead of their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Group J campaign against Uzbekistan, Oman and Turkmenistan.
Kyrgyz Republic, who will be making their AFC Asian Cup Finals debut, are in Group C with Korea Republic, China PR and Philippines.
China PR 1-1 Palestine
Huikou: China PR and Palestine played to a 1-1 draw in their international friendly at the Wuyuanhe Sports Center as both teams continued their buildup to the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
China went ahead when defender Feng Xiaoting popped up with a towering header from a set-piece on nine minutes on the southern island of Hainan.
Palestine, however, were unfazed by going behind and took advantage as China opted for a defensive approach with Yashir Pinto scoring the equaliser after capitalising on a failed offside trap.
The result was China's third draw in five matches, with one win and one defeat while Palestine had to settle for a share of the spoils after having defeated Pakistan 2-1 the last time out.
Sources: Football Federation Australia, Japan Football Association, Korea Football Association, AFP
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