‘The best is yet to come’ insists goalscorer Mabil as Australia ponders last 16

AUS

With four goals in his first seven Socceroos appearances, Awer Mabil is fast becoming a fan-favourite for the national team. But the modest 23-year-old insists that he is just pleased to be a part of a young Australia side that has plenty more to offer.

Mabil played his part in a solid team performance that showed great mental strength after twice seeing its lead pegged back by a determined Syria on Wednesday morning (AEDT).

The FC Midtjylland forward opened the scoring with a tremendous curling effort from outside the box, before further goals from Chris Ikonomidis and a late strike from Tom Rogic secured all three points for the Socceroos.

“This is such a good group to be a part of, a great team,” Mabil said after the victory, which confirmed Australia’s place in the last 16 at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™.

“The philosophy suits everybody and brings out the best in everybody. You can see in the last two games that we’re carrying a good momentum. We still have a lot to give.

“Every player loved it. You can see the mental strength that we have today. We can’t wait to face whoever, it’s going to be really good.

“I’m really excited for Australian football. This next four years is going to be amazing with some of the young players we’ve got coming up and also the experienced boys who are here who have 50-plus caps.

“We’re learning from them and they’ll guide us through the next four years. It’s going to be an interesting and exciting journey.”

Mabil opened the scoring with an eye-catching left-footed strike to put Australia ahead shortly before half-time, and dedicated his goal to coach Graham Arnold, who he raced over to celebrate with after his shot hit the net.

“I felt quite confident as soon as I hit it,” Mabil said. “But it went so slow. I’m sure from the outside it went fast, but for me it went so slow – I couldn’t wait for it to hit the back of the net.

“It was really nice, it means a lot. [Graham Arnold] has given me a chance to help my country and it’s a chance I’ll always be thankful for.

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“I dedicated my first goal to him also [in the friendly v Kuwait in October 2018], but that wasn’t official, so today it was good to get an official goal and dedicate it to him to say thank you for the opportunity.

Awer Mabil and Graham Arnold celebrate Mabil goal v Syria, Asian Cup 2019
Mabil celebrates with Graham Arnold: “It was good to get a goal and dedicate it to him to say thank you”

“There’s always a pride to represent my country, and also be part of this group. It’s credit to the boys, they make it easier for people in the front third to score goals and that’s the fun part. I’m loving that role and it makes it easier for me.

“We stuck to what we know. We know if we do our jobs we are the best and that’s what we have to focus on. It was a great crowd and a great test for us to go into the next stage through these kinds of games.”

 

Source : Socceroos WEBSITE

Social Wrap: Hits and misses

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Kuala Lumpur: The clock is ticking down and teams have already started arriving for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019. The-AFC.com tours social media to bring you the best bits from the various camps.

Whether you’re banging them in at the training ground or breaking your international duck in style, goals always bring a smile to the faces of players and fans alike. Missing the target can also be fun to watch, under the right circumstances, as we find out from Qatar’s goalkeeper.

With just two goals in their last four games, the UAE will hope a new kit will bring them good luck on home soil as they look to replicate their 1996 heroics. Will they achieve their goal?

Up and running

Another player hitting the target this week was Australian winger Chris Ikonomidis. The 23-year-old opened his Socceroos account in style, hitting home on the half-volley in the 5-0 friendly victory against Oman in Dubai on Sunday.

Ikonomidis is set to appear in his first major tournament in an Australia shirt, and with a number of injuries striking Graham Arnold’s squad, he can be hopeful the UAE continues to bring him further luck in front of goal.

Source : Asian Football Confederation Website

FIFA/AFC officials to visit Australia next month

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Officials from FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will join Football Federation Australia (FFA) in Sydney from February 20-22 to begin discussions on the membership and terms of reference of a group to review the sport’s Congress.

The Congress Review Working Group was proposed by FFA following last year’s Annual General Meeting at which a resolution to increase representation for the professional game and for women narrowly failed to reach the 75 percent approval of Members required by FFA’s constitution.

FFA, FIFA and AFC will meet with a range of stakeholder groups to discuss the composition, mandate and terms of reference of the Congress Working Group.

Media arrangements for the FIFA/AFC visit will be announced closer to the time.

 

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