South Korea's Koo Ja-cheol scored a first-half goal against Australia [AFP]

Australia and South Korea showed why they are tipped to meet in the final of the Asian Cup in just over two weeks when they fought out a 1-1 draw in their second Group C match in Qatar.

Koo Ja-cheol netted his third goal of the tournament midway through the first half of Friday's game and Mile Jedinak headed Australia level in the second, to clinch a draw that left both managers happy.

The two sides top their group with four points from two matches ahead of India and Bahrain and both are virtually certain to go through to the quarter-finals next week.

Holger Osieck, Australia's coach, was pleased with the way his team played.

"It doesn't matter to me whether we finish first or second in the group as long as we get into the last eight," he told reporters.

"It was a very good performance, especially the second half, and the only thing we need to improve is being more clinical in our finishing."

Cho Kwang-rae, South Korea's coach, said: "That was a great match for the fans to watch and it was a very good show from us but the result could have been better.

"Australia improved in the second half but I thought we handled them well and mainly controlled most of the game."

South Korea struck the first blow when Koo scored his third goal of the tournament, taking advantage of slack defending after 24 minutes.

Jedinak pulled Australia level with a header after 62 minutes, capitalising on the only mistake Korean goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong made when he failed to clear a cross.

Mark Schwarzer kept Australia in the match with a reflex point blank save from Ki Sung-yong after 87 minutes and a draw at the Al Gharafa Stadium was a fair result between the two tournament favourites.

Source: Reuters