Mitchell Duke was one of Australia's goalscorers against Japan. Image courtesy of foxsports.com.au/Ahn Young-joon/AP
Australia won’t be progressing to the final of the East Asian Cup, but the understrength Socceroos can at least fire a shot when they take on China in their third and final match of the tournament. Holger Osieck’s side, comprised mainly of A League players, has been a trifle disappointing so far, save for the exploits of goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic who almost single-handedly earned his team a 0-0 draw with South Korea in its opening fixture.
The young Socceroos outfit went down 3-2 to Japan on Thursday night (AEST),ending any hope it had of extending its run at the event. The Australians were 2-0 down with 15 minutes to play before a frenetic period where Mitchell Duke and Tomi Juric both netted for the first time in the green and gold, before Yuya Osako scored his second to seal the win for Japan
Australia has won two of its six clashes with China. Most recently it lost 1-0 in Sydney in qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, although the teams did play out a scoreless draw in Kunming earlier that year. So far in the tournament China has drawn 3-3 with Japan and 0-0 with South Korea. Osieck is likely to play a more experimental line-up with his team out of the running for silverware.
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