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Early salvo sends hosts Australia into Asian Cup final

Updated: 2015-01-27 19:14 Comments

Early salvo sends hosts Australia into Asian Cup final

Australia's Jason Davidson (R) celebrates with teammate Mark Milligan after scoring a goal against UAE during their Asian Cup semi-final soccer match at the Newcastle Stadium in Newcastle January 27, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

NEWCASTLE, Australia - Hosts Australia rode two early strikes to a 2-0 victory over United Arab Emirates that sent them into the Asian Cup final for a second successive tournament at a rain-soaked Newcastle Stadium on Tuesday.

The Socceroos, who lost to Japan in the final four years ago, will take on another East Asian power in South Korea on Saturday in Sydney looking to seal a first continental title at their third attempt.

Defenders led the way for the goal-happy tournament hosts with Trent Sainsbury heading them in front after three minutes and Jason Davidson doubling the lead 11 minutes later.

The UAE stunned champions Japan in a penalty shootout to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 1996 but another upset never looked on the cards after Australia's early salvo.

Attacking midfielder Omar Abdulrahman did nothing to detract from his burgeoning reputation with some delightful touches and striker Ahmed Khalil hit the woodwork in the first half but they were unable to create enough clear-cut chances.

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