Hearts and Hibs players to return from Asian Cup as Australia exit to South Korea
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Hearts duo Nathaniel Atkinson and Kye Rowles along with Hibs pair Lewis Miller and Martin Boyle are set to join back up with their respective clubs following Australia's exit from the 2024 Asian Cup.
The Socceroos made it to the quarter-finals stage in Qatar after group stage wins over India and Syria, as well as a 1-1 draw with Uzebkistan, followed by 4-0 win over Indonesia in the Round of 16. However, a dramatic conclusion at the Al Janoub Stadium last Friday saw Graham Arnold's men sent home from the competition.
Experienced striker Craig Goodwin had given the Aussies a first half lead and they were on course for victory and progress to the semi finals. However, Wolverhampton Wanderers' forward Hwang Hee-chan netted a penalty in the 96th minute to take the match to extra time.
Tottenham Hotspur superstar Son Heung-min then gave South Korea the lead for the first time in the contest in the 104th minute. Things went from bad to worse for Australia as former Burnley midfielder Aiden O'Neil was sent off just one minute after Son's goal and the Socceroos were unable to claw their way back into the game from there.
Kye Rowles played the entire 120 minutes of the contest at centre back while Nat Atkinson started at right back and was replaced by Lewis Miller in the 73rd minute. Martin Boyle also started the match and lasted till then 87th minute before making way for Ipswich Town's Cameron Burgess.
Also flying the flag for Scottish football in the match was St Mirren's Keanu Baccus, who started for Australia, and Celtic's Oh Hyeon-gyu who came off the bench for South Korea and now heads to the semi-finals where his nation will face Jordan for a place in the final. Celtic's Marco Tillo was an unused substitute for Australia in the match.