UAE 1-0 Australia

Al Ain: Australia’s defence of their AFC Asian Cup title came to an end on Friday evening as Ali Mabkhout’s second half goal earned tournament hosts the United Arab Emirates a 1-0 win over the Socceroos and set up a semi-final meeting with Qatar.

Mabkhout took advantage of an under-hit back pass midway through the second half to steal in behind the Australian defence and round Maty Ryan to register the only strike of the game.

Alberto Zaccheroni’s side will now take on Qatar with a place in the final at stake as the hosts moved one step closer to emulating their run to the deciding game when the tournament was last held in the UAE in 1996.

With Tom Rogic unavailable due to suspension, Graham Arnold went for a tactical switch that saw Australia start with Jamie Maclaren and Apostolos Giannou paired together in attack while Robbie Kruse and Chris Ikonomidis patrolled the flanks.

There were changes, too, for the hosts. Ismaeil Mattar made his first start of the tournament alongside Mabkhout as Zaccheroni also introduced Walid Abbas, Fares Juma, Majed Hassan and Mohamed Ahmad as he made five changes to the side that eventually saw off Kyrgyz Republic.


Zaccheroni’s alterations were the first to take effect as the Emiratis started brightly. With less than a minute on the clock, Ismail Al Hammadi controlled Ali Hassan’s ball into the area before forcing Ryan to palm the ball clear.

In a lively opening, Trent Sainsbury sent his looping header of Ikonomidis’ corner over the bar as both teams started with few inhibitions.

Ryan was on hand once more to deny the hosts as the clock ticked towards the 20 minute mark when Al Hammadi, again, threatened after stepping inside Sainsbury to fire off an effort that the Socceroos keeper pushed away.


Neither side was prepared to sit back in an open and entertaining first half, with Australia taking advantage of the space in midfield to dominate for periods without finding a way through the well-drilled Emirati defence.

With five minutes left in the half the Socceroos did find a way through as Giannou was presented with the time to set his sight on goal, but Khalid Eisa swatted that shot clear. At the other end, Ali Mabkhout missed the chance of the half, heading over from close range.


Australia ramped up the pressure in the second period as Degenek and Jackson Irvine both saw their headers from corners miss the target and Ikonomidis dragged his shot just wide. Giannou then had the ball in the net following the introduction of Mathew Leckie for Maclaren, but his effort was ruled out for offside.

There was to be no such intervention, though in the 68th minute when Mabkhout put the UAE ahead with their first opening of the second period, the Al Jazira forward alert enough to step in to intercept Degenek’s backpass before rounding Ryan to score.


Australia grew increasingly desperate as the clock ticked down, with Arnold throwing on Awer Mabil and Andrew Nabbout in an attempt to claw back an equaliser but the Socceroos came up short to end their reign as Asian champions and allow the UAE advance.


Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE

Your Ultimate Guide to United Arab Emirates v Socceroos


And then there were eight. The Socceroos shootout triumph over Uzbekistan on Tuesday morning (AEDT) has earned Graham Arnold’s side a thrilling Quarter Final shot at hosts United Arab Emirates in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™.

On another day, Australia’s attacking philosophy – which brought six goals in the group stage – would surely have paid dividends, with more than 60% of possession and 17 shots seeing them through in the regulation 90 minutes.

But a combination of good defending and a fine performance from Uzbek goalkeeper Ignatiy Nesterov led to a nerve-shredding shootout that made standout stars of Mat Ryan and a fit-again Mathew Leckie, who netted the vital winning spot-kick.

Now the Socceroos’ attention turns to the hosts, who reached the last eight courtesy of a 3-2 win over the Kyrgyz Republic on Tuesday morning (AEDT).

Build Up

Having finished the group stage with confidence-boosting wins over Palestine (3-0) and a dogged Syria (3-2), Australia faced another free-scoring side in Uzbekistan in the Round of 16.

In the event, two of the highest scoring sides in the competition battled out an absorbing 0-0 draw, before two fine saves from Mat Ryan paved the way for a 4-2 win in the shootout, capped by Leckie’s decisive spot-kick.

There is sure to be a full house at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain, as the host nation face the Socceroos, but belief is running high for the Green and Gold.

Squad news

The Socceroos reported a clean bill of health after the tense victory over Uzbekistan, but will go into the Quarter Final without playmaker Tom Rogic, who picked up his second yellow card of the tournament in the Round of 16 match.

Mat Leckie returned from a hamstring injury to make his first appearance at this year’s Asian Cup in the last round, and his presence added a spark to Australia’s forward play.

The winger, who plays his club football in Germany with Hertha Berlin, played for almost an hour against Uzbekistan, and was a calm presence as he fired home the crucial spot-kick to take the Socceroos through to the last eight. He is likely to figure in Graham Arnold’s plans as the manager looks to outsmart the UAE.

The dependable Mark Milligan has been outstanding so far, and led the way by scoring Australia’s first in the shootout.

Confidence will be high for forwards Robbie Kruse and Apostolos Giannou, who were also on target from 12 yards, while further good news for Arnold’s striking options comes with the revelation that Andrew Nabbout is recovering well from a groin problem.

Elsewhere, Josh Risdon – who went off at half-time with a groin injury in the tournament’s opening match against Jordan – is available again after being named among the substitutes against Uzbekistan in the last round.

Source : Socceroos WEBSITE

Joint statement on Broadcast Piracy

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Abu Dhabi: A joint statement on behalf of FIFA, UEFA, AFC, Premier League and La Liga on BeoutQ.

“Collectively, we, as rights-holders in various football competitions, condemn the pirate entity beoutQ, which continues to abuse the operations of rights holders and legitimate broadcasters through its persistent and illegal screening of events for which it has made no effort to secure the rights; the latest example of which is the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.

“The activities of beoutQ are a clear and flagrant breach of our intellectual property rights. beoutQ’s piracy harms not only us, as rights holders, but also our legitimate licensees and, ultimately, the fans of our competitions.

“Money raised from the sale of TV rights helps us to support the participants, as well as to develop and grow the sports of which we are guardians from the grassroots up. Piracy kills that investment.

“We will work closely with partners and relevant authorities to enforce and uphold our intellectual property rights and put an end to this widespread piracy issue for everyone’s benefit.”


Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE

Match preview: Socceroos v Uzbekistan


Having finished the group stage on a strong note, the Socceroos head into their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ Round of 16 clash against Uzbekistan in a do-or-die encounter.

Australia bounced back from their opening fixture to score six goals in two games, putting three goals past Palestine and Syria apiece and sealing their progression to the knockout stage.

Tom Rogic was the hero for the Green and Gold against Syria, firing an injury-time rocket past Syria’s keeper to seal all three points for the Socceroos.

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We demand an investigation into how good of a strike this was from Tom Rogic 😎

While a draw would have been enough for Australia to progress, the win was a just reward and epitomises the attacking philosophy Graham Arnold has introduced to the Socceroos.

Standing in Australia’s way is an Uzbekistan outfit that finished second in Group B following their 2-1 loss to Japan on Friday morning AEDT.

Where and when

Australia v Uzbekistan
 Monday, 21 January 2019
Venue: Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
Kick-off: 6:00pm (local); 1:00am (AEDT – Tuesday, 22 January 2019)
Broadcast: Live in Australia on FOX SPORTS

Socceroos squad news

All signs are promising after the Socceroos came out unscathed in their win against Syria on Wednesday morning AEDT. That, along with their six-day gap between games, means Arnold’s side will be raring to go come Tuesday morning AEDT against Uzbekistan.

Awer Mabil and Chris Ikonomidis have had a tournament to remember thus far, with Mabil grabbing two goals, and Ikonomidis bagging a goal and four assists.

The midfield haven’t been too far behind, oozing strength and guile in the form of Massimo Luongo, Jackson Irvine and Tom Rogic. The Celtic midfielder has been particularly impressive with one goal and two assists in three games.

At the back, Milligan’s transition to centre-back in the absence of Trent Sainsbury has highlighted the versatility of Arnold’s outfit. Though that versatility may not be called upon as Sainsbury is once more available for selection following his one-game suspension for an accruement of yellow cards.

Current AFC Rankings

Australia:     2
Uzbekistan: 14

Final word

Earlier in the week, Mabil iterated ‘the best is yet to come’ for Graham Arnold’s firing Socceroos.

And why would anyone bet against that? Australia have looked stronger as each game has passed, revealing a new bow in their string every time they take to the field.

Arnold brought a relatively young side to the United Arab Emirates, but already it is paying dividends with new stars emerging and familiar faces taking their game to another gear.

Mabil and Ikonomidis have headlined this youthful exuberance, but take nothing away from the likes of Rhyan Grant and Jamie Maclaren who are getting their chance to shine too.

Of course, the Socceroos can ill afford to get complacent as every game at this stage of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ brings its own challenges. However, with the forwards firing on all cylinders and the backline looking increasingly cohesive, it’s hard not to back Australia putting in a top-drawer performance against Uzbekistan.

The Socceroos take on Uzbekistan at the Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at 1:00am AEDT. The game will be broadcast live on FOX SPORTS 505.


Source : Socceroos WEBSITE

#AFCAsianCup2019 Opposition Confirmed: Socceroos take on Uzbekistan in Round of 16


Following their 3-2 win over Syria in Group B, the Socceroos have earned themselves a Round of 16 clash against Uzbekistan in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™.

The meeting was confirmed when Uzbekistan fell 2-1 to Japan in their Group F encounter, putting the White Wolves in second place.

The Socceroos sealed their passage to the Round of 16 thanks to a 3-0 win over Palestine, along with a 3-2 victory over Syria.

Graham Arnold’s side return to the Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain to take on Uzbekistan on Tuesday, January 22 at 1am AEDT. Incidentally, that ground is where the Socceroos downed Syria in the group stages.

Uzbekistan’s Eldor Shomurodov taking on two Japan players.

Tuesday morning’s winner will face the victor between hosts United Arab Emirates and Kyrgyzstan, who kick off three hours after the Socceroos at 4:00am AEDT.

Australia v Uzbekistan

Date: Monday, 21 January 2019
Venue: Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
Kick-off: 6:00pm (local); 1:00am (AEDT – Tuesday, 22 January 2019)
Broadcast: Live in Australia on FOX SPORTS


Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE

The Equation: Socceroos await Round of 16 opponent at AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™


The Socceroos are through! Wednesday morning’s (AEDT) thrilling 3-2 win over Syria means Graham Arnold’s men have finished in second spot in Group B. 

Goals for Awer Mabil and Chris Ikonomidis either side of the break, followed by Tom Rogic’s stoppage-time winner made it two wins from three for Australia to move into the knockout phase. Jordan topped the group on seven points following their goalless draw with Palestine.

How things stand

Following the final round of fixtures, the Group B ladder is so:

  1. Jordan – 7 points
  2. Australia – 6 points
  3. Palestine – 2 points
  4. Syria – 1 point

What’s next?

With their Round of 16 berth secured, the Socceroos now await who they will face in the first knockout match.

As runners-up in Group B, Australia will take on the second-place getter in Group F.

That will either be Uzbekistan or Japan, who meet in a shootout for top spot in their group early on Friday morning (AEDT).

If Uzbekistan avoids defeat against the Samurai Blue, the Socceroos will take on Japan in the last 16, but a win by the Japanese would see Australia face the Uzbeks.

In a bonus for Australia, they will play their Round of 16 tie at the Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain, the same venue as the win over Syria.

The Round of 16 clash will be played on Tuesday, January 22 (AEDT), kicking off at 1am.

The Socceroos will take on either Japan or Uzbekistan on Tuesday, January 22 at the Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium. Kick-off is at 1am AEDT and will be broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS 505.


Source : Socceroos WEBSITE

Your Ultimate Guide to Socceroos v Syria

Resultado de imagem para aUSTRALIA  Syria

The Socceroos have destiny in their own hands as they head into their final Group B clash at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™, taking on Syria early on Wednesday morning (AEDT). 

A draw is all Graham Arnold’s men need at the Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium to ensure progression to the last 16 but you can be sure they will go all-out for victory to build on Friday’s excellent win over Palestine.

Syria has yet to find the net in their opening two matches but are still very much alive in the tournament, setting up a mouth-watering clash in Al Ain.

Build up

Building on Friday’s impressive win and performance against Palestine will be high on the agenda for the Socceroos.

There was a real rhythm to Australia’s display in their last outing, and it will now be about consistency and not letting the momentum drop ahead of the knockout stage.

That’s been the theme coming out of the camp in the lead-up to Syria, with players and coaches alike all demanding the same standards for the final group match.

The good news for Arnold is that belief is now sky-high in the camp with every player keen to grasp the opportunity in front of them.

It’s going to be a big 90 minutes ahead for the side, with a win or draw needed for the Socceroos to seal their progression to the Round of 16.

The Socceroos celebrate a goal against Palestine.

Squad news

Arnold will be forced into at least one change from the side that defeated Palestine, with defender Trent Sainsbury suspended due receiving a yellow card in each of the opening two games.

Matt Jurman or skipper Mark Milligan – who has been deployed in midfield in the first two games – are the two options to partner Milos Degenek in the heart of defence.

Apart from that, the Socceroos boss has a squad that is in-form and confident.

Strikers Jamie Maclaren and Apostolos Giannou are both buoyant after scoring against Palestine, while there’s a stack of options in attack with the likes of Awer Mabil, Chris Ikonomidis, Robbie Kruse, Andrew Nabbout, Jackson Irvine and Tom Rogic all vying for starting spots.

Mathew Leckie and Josh Risdon are making good progress in their respective recoveries from injury, but Arnold may look to deploy them in the knockout phase rather than the final game of Group B.

Current AFC rankings

Australia: 2

Syria: 6

What they said

Striker Apostolos Giannou

“Everyone was very happy with the performance [against Palestine], with the win and that everything we had been working on came off,” the centre-forward said.

“Now we just look forward to the next game, concentrating on that. It’s a very important game for us.

“We want to perform, we want to score a lot of goals, and we want to win so we can be in the next round.”

Assistant Coach Rene Meulensteen

“We want to carry on and look at ourselves critically and again make sure that we take out the good parts and share that with the players and also the things that we can improve upon,” he continued.

“It’s basically all about us, we make sure that we get the right 11 players on the pitch which we expect they’re going to be very good in dealing with that game.”

How to watch

Tune into FOX SPORTS 505 at 12.30am AEDT on Wednesday morning to watch all the action live.

You can also follow updates from the crunch clash with Palestine and keep up to date with all the latest news and information from the Socceroos at and by following @Socceroos on Twitter.



Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE

Match preview: Socceroos v Syria #AFCAsianCup2019


The Socceroos will determine their fate on Wednesday morning AEDT when they take on Syria in the final Group B fixture of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™.

Australia bounced back from their game against Jordan with a solid 3-0 win over Palestine, displaying the composed yet free-flowing, attacking football Graham Arnold promised fans.

Captain Mark Milligan produced a game-high 97 passes, with 90% of those finding their target, while Awer Mabil grabbed four shots, two of which were on target and one that found the back of the net.

In their way is a Syrian outfit who are yet to win a game in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™.

Qasioun Nosour were held to a stalemate against a 10-man Palestine in their opening fixture, before falling 2-0 to Jordan. That winless start saw head coach Bernd Stange relieved of his duties.

The top two teams of each group progress to the Round of 16, along with the four-best, third-placed sides. With the Socceroos currently in second place on three points, a win or draw would guarantee their progression to the next round.

Where and when

Date: Wednesday, January 16 2019
Venue: Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain
Kick-off: 12:30am AEDT

Socceroos squad news

By all accounts, the squad appears to be fit and ready for the big encounter.

A selection dilemma may confront Arnold, with both Jamie Maclaren and Apostolos Giannou showing fine form and grabbing a goal apiece in the game against Palestine.

In the midfield, Chris Ikonomidis has shone under Arnold, grabbing two assists against Palestine, while Tom Rogic grabbed one, too.

Jackson Irvine has worked his socks off in both games of the campaign thus far, and Robbie Kruse is fresh having come on late in Australia’s 3-0 win.

Trent Sainsbury will be ineligible to face Syria, having received a yellow card in each of Australia’s opening two fixtures.

Current AFC Rankings

Australia:  2
Syria: 6

Final word

The Socceroos put their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ campaign into a winning rhythm with a 3-0 win over Palestine on Friday night.

Maclaren and Mabil found the back of the net, while Australia’s centre-back pairing of Sainsbury and Milos Degenek looked as sure as ever. Sainsbury’s replacement will no doubt slot right in, such is the adaptability of Arnold’s side.

Rhyan Grant and Aziz Behich have embodied the Socceroos’ attacking philosophy, showing incredible athleticism and match awareness to maraud up and down their corridors throughout the 90 minutes.

A win or draw for the Socceroos will seal their progression to the Round of 16, so set your alarms and get ready for a thriller.


Source : Socceroos WEBSITE

How to watch the Socceroos against Palestine

Resultado de imagem para Fox Sports Australia

The Socceroos will be prepared for a huge clash when they take on Palestine in their second Group B clash at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ on Friday. 

Graham Arnold’s side do battle with Palestine for the very first time at the Rashid Stadium in Dubai, with kick-off at 10pm (AEDT).

With both nations looking to register their first win off the tournament, it promises to be a thrilling encounter and one not to be missed.

How to watch

The Caltex Socceroos will kick-off against Jordan at 10:00PM AEDT and you can catch the action live on FOX SPORTS 505.

You can also keep up to date with all the goals and action in our LIVE MATCH BLOG on

Also follow the Socceroos on FacebookTwitter and Instagram as we provide behind-the-scenes coverage of the squad in the UAE.

Palestine v Australia
Date: Friday, 11 January 2019
Venue: Rashid Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Kick-off: 3.00pm (local); 10.00pm (AEDT)
Broadcast: Live in Australia on FOX SPORTS


Source : Socceroos Website

AFC protects rights of commercial partners

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Abu Dhabi: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has been made aware that unauthorised broadcasters may attempt to screen the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 matches in contravention of the AFC broadcast agreements.

The AFC, in order to protect the rights of its broadcast partners, has issued ‘cease and desist’ notices to the infringers.

The AFC takes any breaches of its commercial agreements very seriously and will also continue to take whatever action is appropriate to protect the interests of all its commercial partners.


Source : Asian Football Confederation Website