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Socceroos substitutes push their case for selection

02:37 EAT 18/11/2018
Awer Mabil Socceroos
The green and gold bench provided a vital spark against Korea Republic

Seemingly destined for a frustrating loss to Korea Republic on Saturday night, Socceroos coach Graham Arnold managed to salvage a last-minute draw and has his substitutes to thank for turning the tide.

While Australia dominated for large periods of the game, it was the introduction of Awer Mabil and Martin Boyle off the bench that gave the green and gold a vital advantage late in the game.

Both wingers brought with them plenty of speed, a willingness to get forward and managed to find their feet fairly quickly on a slippery Suncorp pitch. 

It would be Boyle who played a big hand in Massimo Luongo's equaliser as he played his Socceroos teammate onside after latching on to a rebound from the keeper.

While Boyle will have a hard time permanently dislodging right winger Mathew Leckie from the side after the Hertha Berlin man created a game-high three chances against Korea Republic, Leckie is short on match fitness and the newest Socceroo might be rewarded for his bright cameo performance with a start on Tuesday against Lebanon.  

In-form Mabil could also find himself in the starting eleven in Sydney with Robbie Kruse withdrawn relatively early on Saturday having failed to impress and Mabil looking dangerous when he came on. 

Only time will tell whether Boyle or Mabil do get more minutes on Tuesday, but it's safe say Arnold is glad he had them up his sleeve in Brisbane. 

"The boys that came on added lot of spark, Boyle added spark, Mabil added spark and you can see we’ve got pace," Arnold said post-match.

"I thought the players who came on added a lot of positive energy."