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Australia 1 South Korea 1: Luongo seals late draw for Socceroos

17 November 2018 12:09

Massimo Luongo scored with the last kick of the game to secure a 1-1 draw for Australia against South Korea in Graham Arnold's first home game back in charge.

Arnold kicked off his second stint with a 4-0 away win over Kuwait last month but looked to be heading for an underwhelming defeat when Hwang Ui-jo took advantage of some generous defending after 22 minutes to put South Korea ahead.

There was late drama, however, as Luongo tapped in from close range three minutes into stoppage time to salvage a draw, the goal eventually given after a VAR review for possible offside.

The Socceroos were indebted to a wonderful save from Mat Ryan to keep them in the game 20 minutes from time, the Brighton and Hove Albion goalkeeper superbly pawing away Ju Se-jong's free-kick.

Australia dominated the opening 20 minutes, Josh Risdon, Tom Rogic and Aaron Mooy all firing off target from promising positions.

They were punished for those misses midway through the first half when Hwang latched onto Kim Min-jae's long ball over the top and drilled into Ryan's bottom-right corner for his third international goal.

Rogic and Mathew Leckie were then denied by routine Kim Seung-gyu saves as South Korea went into the interval with their lead intact.

Rogic scuffed wide shortly before the hour after picking up a superb pass from Risdon, while Hwang In-beom thundered a free-kick narrowly past Ryan's left-hand post.

Ryan denied South Korea a second after 70 minutes, springing to his right to paw away Ju's 30-yard free-kick, which was destined for the top corner.

The importance of that save was highlighted when Luongo slotted in from close range after Kim had spilled Rogic's shot, securing a draw and extending Arnold's unbeaten start.

What does it mean? Socceroos leave it late, South Korea extend run

Failure to take advantage of their early dominance looked like it would cost Australia, but Luongo's last-gasp equaliser proves they are made of stern stuff under Arnold – something the new coach will look to harness in the Asian Cup in January. South Korea, meanwhile, will be disappointed to have let their lead slip but can take comfort in a sixth game without defeat.

Hwang brings club form to international stage

After plundering 15 goals in 24 starts for Gamba Osaka this season it should hardly come as a surprise that Hwang showed ruthless efficiency to fire crisply past Ryan for what looked like the game's decisive moment until Luongo's late strike.

Mooy fails to shine

He has become something of a talisman for Australia, but Aaron Mooy was comfortably kept at arm's length by South Korea's energetic midfield.

What's next?

Both sides play further friendlies on Tuesday as Australia welcome Lebanon to Sydney and South Korea travel to Uzbekistan.

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