Ryan's penalty heroics sees Australia advance to Asian Cup quarter-finals

Brighton & Hove Albion's goalkeeper Mathew Ryan was the hero for Australia as the Socceroos overcame Uzbekistan 4-2 on penalties to reach the Asian Cup quarter-finals.

Monday, 21st January 2019, 3:50 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:16 pm
Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper Mathew Ryan. Picture by PW Sporting Photography.

After a goalless 120 minutes, the Seagulls 'keeper made two superb saves in the penalty shootout to deny Uzbekistan's Islom Tukhtakhujaev and Marat Bikmaev before Mathew Leckie stepped up to send the Aussies into the next round.

Australia will play the winners of this evening's tie between the United Arab Emirates and Kyrgyzstan on January 25.

SEE ALSO Jahanbakhsh scores as Iran reach Asian Cup quarter-finals | Billingshurst-based Brighton attacker praised for debut brace at Cork City | Brighton's Murray sees the positives despite Manchester United defeatRyan made a superb stop in the tenth-minute to deny Uzbekistan forward Eldor Shomurodov. Shomurodov was sent through on goal after a ball from midfield cut open the Australian defence but the Socceroos 'keeper made himself large and produced a fine one-on-one save to prevent the Uzbeks taking an early lead.

With chances few and far between for both sides in normal and extra-time, the Albion stopper remained relatively untroubled before his penalty heroics.

The Socceroos are looking to retain their Asian Cup crown after winning the tournament on home soil in 2015.

If Australia make it all all the way to the final on February 1, Ryan will miss Brighton's next three matches - West Brom in the FA Cup, and Fulham and Watford in the Premier League.

Ryan had been ever-present for the Seagulls before his Asian Cup call-up, making 17 appearances this season.