Football

Cahill in mind games

ASIAN CUP FINAL

SOUTH KOREA v AUSTRALIA

(Tomorrow, 4.50pm, Singtel TV Ch 115,
StarHub TV Ch 209)

Australia's talisman Tim Cahill brushed off retirement talk before the Asian Cup final and cannily labelled South Korea favourites as he indulged in some mind games yesterday.

The 35-year-old, whose explosive performances have propelled the hosts to the brink of their first Asian title, sidestepped the question of whether tomorrow's clash would be his last appearance in a Socceroos shirt.

"I'm not sure but that's something I'll talk about after," Cahill, who had earlier contemplated playing till the 2018 World Cup, said in Sydney yesterday.

"My main focus is the final and hopefully trying to win something that's very special for our country.

"It's definitely going to be one of our most difficult games but the boys are determined to do well, which is the biggest factor.

"They have been really well drilled and it's all about being mentally ready for 95 minutes of football because I don't think this game is going to go to extra time."

South Korea beat an under-strength Australia 1-0 in the group stage and Cahill sought to pile on the pressure by insisting the Taeguk Warriors would be favourites in Sydney.

He said: "If we're favourites, excellent. But I feel that's a bit of a hardship when Korea beat us, so I think they're probably favourites."

MARKED MAN

Cahill scored three goals in the campaign and expects to be a marked man again against South Korea.

He said: "You can't (mark me) for 90 minutes. If you do, someone else is going to reap the rewards."

"When you see two, three defenders holding me, Trent Sainsbury got free and scored a header," he said, referring to the opening goal in their 2-0 semi-final win over the UAE.

"Overall, we've had 10 different goal-scorers and come the end of this game, hopefully it will be 11, 12 or 13." - AFP.

National Stadium to screen Asian Cup final live

The National Stadium will once again "host" top-quality football tomorrow, as fans are expected in great numbers to watch two of Asia's best sides.

But the action will not be on the pitch.

The Singapore Sports Hub will be screening the Asian Cup final, where South Korea face hosts Australia.

Entry is free.

The live screening, at sections 109 to 111 of the stadium, offers free seating, while food and beverages are available at the surrounding concession stands.

Entry is via Gate 1 of the stadium and doors open at 4.30pm.


- HAIQAL SARI