Palestine 0-3 Australia

Dubai: Australia got their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 title defence up and running, earning three crucial points with a 3-0 win over Palestine in their Group B clash at Rashid Stadium on Friday.

Sunday’s defeat to Jordan seemed a distant memory when goals to Jamie Maclaren and Awer Mabil had the Socceroos 2-0 up within 20 minutes, before substitute Apostolos Giannou added a late third.

The result sees Australia leapfrog Palestine and Syria into second place in the group, with Noureddine Ould Ali’s side dropping to fourth with one Matchday remaining.

An energetic Australia controlled possession and territory from the off, and their new-look attacking trio of Maclaren, Mabil and freshly-promoted Chris Ikonomidis emerged as a regular source of early headaches for the Palestinians.

Maclaren spurned a glorious early chance when he failed to make solid contact after being supplied by Ikonomidis, but he atoned in style with a superbly placed header from Tom Rogic’s cross to score his first international goal and give the holders a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute.

Australia’s first AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 goal had been 108 minutes in the making, but they took just two more to add to their tally, doubling their lead when Mabil found his way in behind the defence to complete the relatively simple task of side-footing home a superb angled pass from the lively Ikonomidis.

With the onus now on Palestine, Ould Ali’s side looked to find a way back into the contest, but it was Australia who looked more likely to add to the scoring; particularly when Mabil was neatly teed up by Maclaren in the dying moments of the first half, only for the winger to blaze his effort high and wide from close range.

Graham Arnold’s men continued their ascendancy into the second half, with an attempted 54th-minute cross from Rhyan catching the woodwork after a heavy deflection off Abdallah Jaber, while Palestine’s Musab Battat added to his growing number of important defensive interventions moments later.

Buoyed by the lion’s share of support from a vocal crowd, Palestine remained competitive but – despite the best efforts of their industrious centre-forward Mahmoud Wadi – a regular lack of bodies in attacking areas meant scoring chances of their own were few and far between.

The Socceroos sealed their win in the 90th minute, with substitute Giannou rising high to head home a pinpoint Ikonomidis cross following an Australian set-piece to cap off a memorable afternoon’s work.

Australia’s win is a significant boost to their hopes of knockout stage football, but they will still need to achieve a positive result against Syria in Al Ain on Tuesday to make sure of it – and will be without defensive lynchpin Trent Sainsbury who was booked for a second successive match.

Palestinians also remain in contention, though they are likely to need all three points from their encounter with in-form Jordan in Abu Dhabi to keep their chances alive.


Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation Website

Australia 0 – 1 Jordan

Anas Bani Yaseen-Jordan-AFC

Al Ain: Anas Bani Yaseen scored the only goal of the game as Jordan stunned defending champions Australia to kick off the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 with a 1-0 victory over the Socceroos in their Group B opener at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain on Sunday.

The 30-year-old defender’s first-half header earned Vital Borkelmans’ side all three points against an Australia team that dominated possession throughout the 90 minutes but was unable to find a way past goalkeeper Amer Shafi.

Graham Arnold’s side spent much of the game camped in the Jordanian half, only for the West Asian nation to take a hard-earned win that will set them up perfectly for their next meeting with neighbours Syria on January 11.

While an Australia side boasting the likes of Tom Rogic and Massimo Luongo was expected to dominate, it was the Jordanians who had shown a real threat in the final third from early in the game.

Yousef Rawshedh tested Maty Ryan with 10 minutes on the clock while Mousa Suleiman should have done better when he was given time to turn in the area, only to pull his shot across the face of goal.

Those chances had come despite Australia dominating possession, with much of the opening period being played in the Jordanian half of the field.

But the Socceroos struggled to unlock the disciplined backline Vital Borkelmans’ has constructed until Robbie Kruse’s delightful through ball found Awer Mabil in space behind the defence. Mabil’s his first-time shot was kept out when Amer Shafi used his legs.

Australia looked less than assured in defence and after Josh Risdon put the ball out for a corner, Jordan took full advantage. Baha’ Abdelrahman’s corner found Bai Yaseen unmarked 10 yards from goal and he powered his header beyond a flat-footed Ryan.

Minutes later Jordan almost doubled their lead after Trent Sainsbury’s foul on Suleiman provided Abdelrahman the opportunity to go for goal from the edge of the area, only for Ryan to tip the free-kick onto the crossbar.

Graham Arnold’s side continued to dominate as the Jordanians put men behind the ball and sat deep. For all their territorial superiority, though, the Socceroos could not manufacture a way through.

Mabil did find enough space behind the defence early in the second half to be able to drive a low ball across the face of goal that Shafi did well to push to the feet of one of his own defenders, while Rogic’s dipping shot from range was also beaten away by the goalkeeper.

At the other end, Bakheet’s trickery and direct running remained a threat to the Australian backline, the UAE-based winger sending his long range drive just off target moments after beating two defenders and seeing the ball shepherded out for a corner.

Australia’s frustrations grew even greater 12 minutes from time when Mabil saw his low drive come back off the base of Shafi’s left upright while substitute Jackson Irvine steered his header wide three minutes later.

The Socceroos continued to push and Shafi was forced into action in the final seconds of the game as Jordan recorded an historic result.


Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation Website

#2019REWIND #AFCAsianCup2019 Round of 8


Abu Dhabi: After an unforgettable Round of 16 stage, the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 quarter-final cast has been confirmed.

From a starting field of 24 teams, only an exclusive eight remain, with four mouth-watering matches – each containing a former champion – set to be played on Thursday and Friday

Who, when, where?


Al Maktoum Stadium, Dubai – 17:00, January 24

The Vietnamese fairy-tale continued in the Round of 16, as Park Hang-seo’s side came from a goal behind to overcome Jordan in a penalty shootout, claiming the nation’s first ever AFC Asian Cup knockout stage win.

Their next challenge comes in the form of the competition’s most successful ever team; four-time champions Japan, who made it four wins from four with a 1-0 victory over Saudi Arabia.


Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi – 20:00, January 24

Still unbeaten, and still yet to concede a goal, Islamic Republic of Iran are building nicely as they look to win their first AFC Asian Cup title since 1976 – with their comprehensive 2-0 Round of 16 win over Oman underlining their smooth progress.

China PR appear in the last eight for the second consecutive edition of the tournament, having come from behind to secure a 2-1 win over Thailand in the first knockout round.


Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi – 17:00, January 25

Korea Republic’s quest to end their 59-year title drought faces what is arguably their most challenging obstacle yet, with Qatar having won all four of their matches without having conceded a single goal.

The match will feature the coming together of one of Asia’s most celebrated stars, Korea’ Republic’s Tottenham Hotspur ace Son Heung-min, and one of its brightest emerging talents in seven-goal Qatari striker Almoez Ali.


Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain – 20:00, January 25

Both United Arab Emirates and Australia emerged from epic Round of 16 tussles to ultimately prevail against Central Asian opposition, and book the first meeting between the AFC Asian Cup hosts and reigning champions since Vietnam met Japan in the 2007 edition.

The sides also met in the 2015 semi-final, and Alberto Zaccheroni’s men will eager to square the ledger after the Socceroos won 2-0 on the way to claiming the Continental crown.

Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE

#2019REWIND #AFCAsianCup2019 Round of 16

AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 - Knockout Stage fixtures slider

Abu Dhabi: After 36 matches, and no shortage of drama, the qualifiers for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 knockout stage have been finalised.

The line-up was confirmed on Thursday, when Oman and Vietnam claimed the Round of 16’s two remaining places, setting the scene for what promises to be an unforgettable climax to the largest ever edition of the competition.

Who, when, where?


Al Maktoum Stadium, Dubai.15:00, January 20

Unbeaten Group B winners Jordan face a Vietnam side appearing in the knockout stage for the first time since 2007, and just the second time in their history, with the winners to meet either Japan or Saudi Arabia in the quarter-finals.


Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain. 18:00, January 20

Appearing in their first AFC Asian Cup knockout fixture since 1972, Thailand will meet FIFA World Cup-winner Marcello Lippi’s China PR, who qualified as the second placed team in Group C.


Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. 21:00, January 20

Three-time Asian champions and Group D winners Islamic Republic of Iran will look to continue their unbeaten start to UAE 2019 against an emerging Oman side revitalised by a memorable 3-1 win over Turkmenistan.


Sharjah Stadium, Sharjah. 15:00, January 21

A blockbuster clash between two of the competition’s most successful nations in Sharjah. Four-time champions and Group F winners Japan will meet Saudi Arabia, who have lifted the trophy on three occasions and finished second in Group E.


Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain. 18:00, January 21

In a re-match of the 2011 AFC Asian Cup semi-final, reigning champions Australia will meet Hector Cuper’s emerging Uzbekistan, after both sides qualified by finishing second in their respective groups.


Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi. 21:00, January 21

In front of a typically passionate Zayed Sports City Stadium crowd, host nation United Arab Emirates will face Kyrgyz Republic, who have made history by reaching the knockout stage in their first appearance at the Finals.


Rashid Stadium, Dubai. 17:00, January 22

A Son Heung-min-inspired Korea Republic will look to continue their perfect start to the AFC Asian Cup against a Bahrain outfit buoyed by the dramatic last-minute winner against India which sealed their path to the last 16.


Al Nahyan Stadium, Abu Dhabi. 20:00, January 22

Qatar, and current tournament leading scorer Almoez Ali, meet 2007 champions Iraq in a mouth-watering final Round of 16 tie, with the winners to face either Korea Republic or Bahrain in the last eight.


Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE