Mathew Leckie has come off the bench to be Australia’s penalty hero and fire the Socceroos into the Asian Cup quarter-finals.
The 27-year-old sealed Australia’s passage with the winning spot-kick in a shootout after Monday’s round of 16 tie in Al Ain ended 0-0.
Leckie’s cool strike puts Australia into the last eight, where they’ll face either the host nation UAE or Kyrgyzstan.
Mark Milligan, Robbie Kruse, Apostolos Giannou and Leckie all scored in the shootout with Aziz Behich the only one to miss when his effort was well saved by Uzbek keeper Ignatiy Nesterov.
Mat Ryan saved two of the White Wolves’ penalties, denying Islom Tukhthakhujaev and substitute Marat Bikmaev.
The shootout came after a tense match which lacked many clear opportunities finished goalless after 120 minutes.
Australia threw on Leckie for his first appearance of the tournament midway through the second-half as they searched for inspiration.
Leckie instantly sparked life into the Socceroos’ attack.
The Hertha Berlin winger had Australia’s best chance of the second half when he ran into the Uzbek box from the right-hand channel but his effort was pawed away by Ignatiy Nesterov.
The 27-year-old also forced Nesterov to palm away another dangerous shot from outside the box as Australia pressed for a goal.
Uzbekistan, who sat deep throughout the second term, had their own chance late in normal time when Leckie was dispossessed and Odil Akhmedov’s volley deflected wide.
Rogic went close in extra-time but his right-foot effort curled agonisingly wide of the post in an added period that lacked quality as both teams tired.
Australia made a sluggish start, failing to get the ball in behind the resolute Uzbek defence.
Uzbek forward Eldor Shomuradov was dangerous throughout the first half, twice getting the better of Trent Sainsbury down the right-hand side of Australia’s defence.
In the 10th minute Shomuradov had the best chance of the half when he beat Sainsbury and Mat Ryan’s one-handed block prevented Australia falling behind.
The big forward again got the better of Sainsbury in the 36th minute but Dostonbek Khadamov blazed over from the edge of the area from Shomuradov’s cross.
A tame effort by Aziz Behich and a blocked Rogic shot were the only attacks of note by the Socceroos in the opening stanza.
Australia will be without their Celtic star Rogic for the quarter-final after he picked up his second booking of the tournament early in the first half.
Friday’s quarter-final will be played at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain.