Host nation Australia kept their dream of winning their first Asian Cup title alive as they beat United Arab Emirates 2-0 at the Newcastle Stadium to book their place in the final against South Korea.
Trent Salisbury got his side off to the best possible start as he struck the opener after just three minutes, and shortly after Jason Davidson doubled the Socceroos' advantage as Australia sealed their spot in the final in Sydney on Saturday (January 31).
Those two early blows proved enough to oust a UAE outfit who claimed a shock penalties win over Japan at the quarter-final stage, and they will now meet Iraq in the third-place play-off on January 30.
"It feels unbelievable, especially to do it on home soil, a great turnout tonight and we are happy we got a clean sheet into the final," full-back Davidson said.
"We knew that the UAE were going to be tired and give us a fight at the start and the goal was to score as quickly as possible and get as many goals as we could.
"I think it was a dream start for us.
"As the game went on I think fatigue kicked in, but we worked hard, kept a clean sheet, all credit to the boys."
The home side began brightly and they ensured their early pressure paid dividends as Salisbury met a tempting Massimo Luongo delivery with a powerful header to give the Socceroos an early lead.
Despite falling behind, UAE remained composed and they were unfortunate not to level proceedings just seven minutes later as Ahmed Khalil struck the foot of the post.
They were, however, made to rue that missed opportunity on 14 minutes when Davidson rifled home a low drive from the edge of the box to cap off a blistering start from the hosts.
Australia managed to control proceedings for the majority of the encounter, with goalkeeper Mat Ryan having little to do, and in the end the UAE could not quite find a way back into the contest as the Socceroos progressed to the delight of the partisan crowd of 21,079 in attendance.
If Australia are to earn their maiden Asian Cup crown they will have to find a way past a stout South Korean defence who have reached the final without conceding a goal.
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