Capturing a moment of history freshly created, Australia‘s Tim Cahill crowned his place in the record books by planting a kiss on the AFC Asian Cup as half of a record-breaking duo.
In becoming the champions of Asia, the New York Red Bulls forward and fellow Socceroos veteran Mark Bresciano became the only two men’s players to lift two different continental titles, having also been part ofAustralia‘s triumph at the OFC Nations Cup in 2004.
That was their final outing at the competition ahead of a move to the AFC in 2005, with Cahill getting six goals on the way to the final – including a hat-trick against Fiji. Bresciano meanwhile scored the only goal in an ultimately crucial opening win over arguably their strongest rivals New Zealand.
The final eventually went the way of the Socceroos, 11-1 on aggregate against Solomon Islands, but their win on Saturday on home soil against Korea Republic was certainly tighter. A 1-0 lead, courtesy of Massimo Luongo, was cancelled out in the dying seconds of the 90 minutes by Son Heungmin, with James Troisi scoring in extra-time to snatch a 2-1 win in Sydney.
The feat mirrors one achieved by the Australian women’s team, whose trophy cabinet has a similarly pan-continental look to it after lifting the AFC Asian Women’s Cup in 2010 following three three successive OFC titles up to 2003.