Debunking the myth of the 'dangerous two-nil lead'

Jason Davidson celebrates scoring the Socceroos' second goal against UAE. (Getty)

Rather than entering some fabled danger zone when they went 2-0 up against UAE, the Socceroos showed the fruits of a tournament in which they have gone from strength to strength. The lead put Ange Postecoglou's team into a position of strength in the game and what we're left with is a mouth-watering final match-up befitting of an Asian Cup which has carried the beautiful game forward in this country.

It was a job well done by Australia.

The 2015 Asian Cup has played out perfectly for both finalists to prepare for what will be an extraordinary occasion for Australian sport on Saturday.

With two World Cup nations - Iran and Japan - crashing out, both Korea Republic and Australia faced teams that, in reality, stood little chance of progressing as long as the favourites performed to their level.

The Socceroos and Korea Republic did just that, with wins by identical scorelines. Both enter the final in good physical condition and strong form.

Australia had the perfect start and in fact, did a 'UAE' over Japan by scoring early, with Jason Davidson's goal finishing the game.

Omar Abdulrahman showed what a magician he is and caused some problems throughout the second half.  He just never had enough quality around him to cause too much damage. At best, UAE may have scored a goal, but two became beyond it.

The beauty of the win was that it demonstrated the growth of the Australian team throughout the tournament.

Five consecutive games is a godsend for a national team that usually only spends sporadic periods together. The assuredness of the performance was impressive.

Never fully extended, both Korea and Australia had plenty in reserve and did enough to put the results beyond doubt.

Australia had no major injuries  - assuming Ivan Franjic is OK - no red cards, avoided extra time and rested key players. Perfect.

After expecting Japan, the night was something of an anticlimax, and that is the greatest compliment to the Socceroos one can give. This Saturday will more than make up for it.

Trent Sainsbury got a well-deserved goal - having been exceptional against China - from another corner similar to the opening goal against Oman, an area of strength that could prove decisive against Korea. Even when not scoring, Timmy Cahill draws in opponents. His teammates are using the deficit to great effect.

If Japan could head the ball, it would have won by six, so Australia exposed this weakness clinically with two crosses and two goals. Goodnight, UAE.

ANZ Stadium is the scene of the 2005 triumph against Uruguay, something of a spiritual home for the Socceroos in the same way Olympic Park in Melbourne used to be in the grand old days. It is the perfect venue for the team to beat Korea Republic for the title.

They can do it and I believe strongly they will. The home crowd is an incredible benefit in a match of this type.

As for the tournament, can I take this opportunity to congratulate everyone involved in staging the Cup. It has been a very special few weeks, a celebration of the game and its ability to unite. Football emerges from this month in a stronger position in the national psyche and with its inherent advantages front of mind.

Well done all.

I'll finish with a point from last night that might be of interest ahead of the final.

At 2-0 up, the cliché that it's the 'most dangerous scoreline' inevitably gets a run. It's simply not accurate and is a saying perpetuated without any foundation.

It is, in fact, an overwhelmingly safe score. At the top level, the probability of losing from 1-0 up is less than 12 per cent

From 2-0 up, it is less than 5 per cent. Yet, according to many commentators a 1 in 20 (or lower) chance of losing is considered 'dangerous' for an attacking team?

It's simply not true. The reality is, if a team is down by two, it must take maximum risk, which exposes it further.

It is possible to lose from 2-0 but is unlikely and, when it occurs, is certainly not because of some mythically cursed 'dreaded' 2-0 scoreline.

Rather, it is a fantastic scoreline. Better than 1-0, but not as good as 3-0. Nothing more, nothing less.

The point being that, statistically and psychologically, with Korea being away from home, the first goal is immensely important on Saturday night.

If Australia scores first, the probability of winning is around 75 per cent and of tying in regular time around 80 to 90 per cent. If we go two goals up, wonderful, our chances are further increased.

Meaning, let's pray that we do!

Come on Australia.