#AFCAsianCup2019 Lebanon 4-1 DPR Korea

Sharjah: There was heartbreak for Lebanon despite coming from behind to defeat DPR Korea 4-1 in their final AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Group E match at the Sharjah Stadium on Thursday, as victory was not enough to take them through to the knockout stage.

Lebanon lost out to Vietnam on the fairplay rule after both teams finished with identical points and goal difference.

Lebanon needed to win by four clear goals to advance but despite a valiant effort, they fell just short.

Lebanon had the first look at goal from a free-kick in the sixth minute but Hassan Maatouk saw his effort blocked by a sea of defenders.

Kim Yong-jun’s men seized the opportunity to get in front, when Pak Kwang-ryong converted his free-kick in the ninth minute to give DPR Korea an early advantage.

Lebanon, however refused to give in and levelled the score just before the half hour mark when Maatouk showcased some sublime dribbling skills down the left before laying off for George Felix Melki, who smashed the ball into the back of the net.

Lebanon asserted more pressure on their opponents and almost scored again but Hilal Alhelwe’s effort was cleared off the line in the 32nd minute.

DPR Korea looked vulnerable at the back as Lebanon continued to dominate possession but wasted several chance as both teams went into the break level.

It was end to end action in the opening minutes of the second half with both teams determined not to settle for a draw.

Lebanon, however, continued to dominate play with DPR Korea finding themselves in trouble at the back with Felix Melki coming close to scoring in the 57th minute but angled his header across the bar.

Miodrag Radulovic’s side finally broke the deadlock in the 65th minute after Mohamad Haidar’s well-timed cross found an unmarked Alhelwe who turned to score from close range.

DPR Korea came under heavy pressure from the start of the second half as Lebanon attacked in numbers but the Cedars were unable to convert their chances in front of goal.

There was more agony for Kim’s charges as they conceded a penalty after Rabin Ataya was brought down in the danger area.

Maatouk converted the spot-kick in the 80th minute, sending goalkeeper Ri Myong-guk the wrong way, with a fourth coming in the seventh minute of added time through Hilal Alhelwe but there was no knockout stage joy for Lebanon.

 

Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE

#AFCAsianCup2019 Saudi Arabia 0-2 Qatar

Abu Dhabi: Almoez Ali’s rich vein of form at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 continued on Thursday as he scored twice to help Qatar beat Saudi Arabia 2-0 and claim top spot in Group E.

The prolific 22-year-old struck either side of the break to take his tournament tally to seven on a night when Qatar registered a third successive group stage victory to head into the Round of 16 with momentum galore and leave their opponents occupying second place.

Qatar, quarter-finalists in 2000 and 2011, are now scheduled to meet Iraq in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, while three-time champions Saudi Arabia will face Japan in Sharjah a day earlier.

Both sides made a slow start to proceedings at the Zayed Sports City Stadium, with Mohammed Al Owais’ smart parry from Qatar midfielder Boualem Khoukhi’s fierce drive on 16 minutes the first genuine threat to either goal.

Hussain Al Moqahwi then blazed over the bar for Saudi Arabia following Yahya Al Shehri’s probing run and cross, before Fahad Al Muwallad struck an upright with Qatar goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb beaten.

Qatar were not to be denied however, and after Hasan Al Haydos had seen his 42nd minute penalty saved by Al Owais, hesitant Saudi defending allowed Abdelaziz Hatim’s through ball to find Almoez Ali who converted with ease to open the scoring on the stroke of half-time.

Within five minutes of the restart Hatan Bahbri forced Al Sheeb into a smart save and, as Saudi Arabia continued to search for an equaliser, the impressive Bahbri fizzed an effort from 15 yards narrowly over the bar on 73 minutes.

By way of contrast to Saudi Arabia’s frequent forays into the final third, Qatar’s opportunities were limited in the second period, although they were to extend their lead with 10 minutes remaining, Almoez Ali leaping highest to thump home a header from Hatim’s pinpoint corner.

It proved to be the final genuine goalmouth action, as Qatar, who once again kept a clean sheet, held on to seal another three points and further underline their title potential.

 

Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE

#AFCAsianCup2019 Japan 2-1 Uzbekistan

Al Ain: Japan underlined the depth of talent available to coach Hajime Moriyasu on Thursday evening as the four-time champions came back from a goal behind to defeat Uzbekistan 2-1 in Al Ain and secure top spot in Group F of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.

Yoshinori Muto and Tsukasa Shiotani scored for Japan after Eldor Shomurodov had given Uzbekistan the lead and Hector Cuper’s side will now face Australia in the Round of 16 while the Japanese will face the Group E runners-up, either Saudi Arabia or Qatar.

Moriyasu made 10 changes from the team that started the 1-0 win over Oman, with striker Koya Kitagawa the only player to survive the Japan coach’s decision to overhaul his line-up.

Despite that move, though, Japan retained their fluency throughout and spent much of the opening 45 minutes camped in the Uzbek half as Cuper’s team sat back, waiting to hit their opponents on the counter attack.

Junya Ito threatened early on and Takashi Inui, making his first start of the tournament, was lively, with the Real Betis man firing off a shot 19 minutes into the game that forced Ignatiy Nesterov to dive to his left.

Kitagawa forced Nesterov into further action 10 minutes before the break when his shot on the turn was tipped over by the veteran keeper.

 

With five minutes left in the half, Uzbekistan took the lead with a moment of magic from Shomurodov, the Rostov striker latching on to Dostonbek Khamamov’s through ball to outpace Tomoaki Makino before stepping inside Genta Miura and clipping the finest of finishes into the top corner with the outside of his right boot.

The lead, though, was to last only three minutes as Sei Muroya unlocked the Uzbek defence with a sharp turn on the left touchline before outstripping Farrukh Sayfiev and sending over an inch-perfect cross towards Muto, who rose to power his header home.

Kitagawa should have put Japan in front via an almost identical move, with Ito supplying the cross from the right, but his glancing header was off target.

 Buoyed by their finish to the first 45 minutes, Japan stepped up the tempo in the second period, with Ito particularly threatening down the right side as the half wore on.

Nesterov parried the Kashiwa Reysol man’s shot nine minutes after the restart while Muto went close seconds later, shooting just over the bar. Inui’s attempt from outside the area soon after suffered a similar fate.

Two minutes before the hour mark Shiotani made Japan’s pressure pay with a vicious left-foot strike from distance that rose and curled away from Nesterov as he dived desperately to his left to put Moriyasu’s team in front.

 

Uzbekistan pressed for a way past the Japanese defence, leaving themselves open to the counter-attack and Kitagawa should have doubled his side’s lead with eight minutes left, only to fire over the bar after Muto’s through ball.

Davronbek Khashimov forced Daniel Schmidt to tip his long-range drive over the bar in the final minutes as Japan closed out the game to take their third win in a row and advance to the next round with a perfect record.

 

Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE

#AFCAsianCup 2019 Oman 3-1 Turkmenistan

Oman-Goal

Abu Dhabi: Oman gave themselves hope of advancing to the knockout stage of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019  for the first time after defeating Turkmenistan 3-1 in a Group F match at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

Oman’s reward for sealing a spot in the UAE 2019 knockout stage for the first time in four appearances at the Finals is a meeting with either Group C winners Korea Republic or Islamic Republic of Iran, who topped Group D.

With the top two spots in the group not within reach, Japan finishing as group winners with a 2-1 win over Uzbekistan, both sides were playing for third place which a win by two goals would seal.

Turkmenistan had produced a gritty performance in their opener before going 3-2 down to Japan but found Uzbekistan too strong as they fell 4-0. Oman, meanwhile, suffered one goal defeats to both – 2-1 to Uzbekistan and 1-0 to Japan.

Pim Verbeek had stated before the match that a 2-0 win would be enough for his team to advance and Oman started on the front foot as they went in search of the opening goal.

Turkmenistan found Oman’s pace on both flanks hard to handle and one such move in the sixth minute should have seen the West Asians taking the lead but Muhsen Al Ghassani’s left-footed shot from the centre of the box was saved by goalkeeper Mamed Orazmuhamedov.

Oman continued to press and had two chances to take the lead in the 14th minute, with Muhsen Al Ghassani’s effort parried by Orazmuhamedov before Mohammed Al Hosni, with the goalmouth at his mercy, sent his shot high over the bar.

 

Oman’s persistence, however, finally paid off in the 20th minute with captain Ahmed Al Mahaijri scoring a screamer with a free-kick from 25 yards out.

Stung by the goal, Turkmenistan began to push forward more and came close in the 31st minute but Murat Yakshiyev’s header was tipped over by goalkeeper Faiyz Al Rusheidi.

Oman, however, continued to dictate the tempo and Khalid Al Hajri just missed the target with a left-footed shot in the 38th.

It was a miss that would prove to be costly as Turkmenistan, who had been growing as the game progressed, equalised in the 41st minute with Altymyrat Annadurdyyev evading several Oman players before unleashing his shot from the left into the top left corner.

 

Oman started the second half as they had done the first and totally dominated proceedings, coming close in the 55th and 56th minutes – through a header by Mohammed Al Musallami and a shot by Al Hajri respectively.

Al Ghassani went for the spectacular in the 68th minute with an overhead kick which Orazmuhamedov saved and the goalkeeper stood tall again just seconds later to deny Ahmed Al Mahaijri on the left, with the ball seemingly headed for the top of the net.

Orazmuhamedov, however, was finally beaten in the 84th minute with Al Ghassani sweeping the ball in after the goalkeeper had parried an initial effort.

Three minutes into added time, Mohammed Al-Musallami jumped high to head home and Oman’s celebrations began.

 

Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE

#AFCAsianCup2019 Australia 3-2 Syria

Australia v Syria - AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 - 2

Al Ain: Tom Rogic’s injury time stunner earned Australia a dramatic 3-2 win over Syria and a place in the knockout stage of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 at the Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium on Tuesday.

The Celtic midfielder struck from 25 yards to finally beat a determined Syrian side, who looked set to secure a point for new coach Fajr Ebrahim and his team, and maintain their slim hopes of a place in the next phase.

But Rogic’s goal not only ensured Australia progressed to the next round in second place in Group B but also eliminated the Syrians, who finished bottom of the group after Palestine picked up a point in their meeting with Jordan.

Syria looked set to earn a draw after twice coming from behind to level, with Omar Khrbin cancelling out Awer Mabil’s opener and Omar Al Soma netting from the penalty spot after Chris Ikonomidis had put Australia back in front.

The Syrians, buoyed by the arrival of new coach Ebrahim, had the better of the opening exchanges and, with 12 minutes gone, Al Soma gave Graham Arnold’s team a fright when he headed over. Just seconds later Khrbin shot across the face of goal after a poor clearance by Mat Ryan ended up at the feet of the former AFC Player of the Year.

Australia were struggling to deal with the intensity of the Syrians and, on the half-hour mark, Embrahim’s team thought they had taken the lead when Mouaiad Al Ajaan’s free-kick from distance found its way past Ryan, only for referee Cesar Ramos to rule it out for a foul on Mark Milligan in the build-up.

That let-off gave the Australians a boost, Ikonomidis finding the hands of Ibrahim Alma with his long range attempt before the Syrian keeper twice denied Jamie Maclaren. Mabil, meanwhile, saw his effort blocked by the defence.

In the 41st minute, though, Mabil ensured the Australian pressure paid off with a perfect curling left foot strike that gave Alma no chance as the ball arced its way inside the keeper’s right post.

The lead was to last less than two minutes, however, as Al Ajaan seared down the left flank beyond Rhyan Grant and sent in a cross that Khrbin headed goalward. Ryan made the initial save, but Khrbin converted the rebound.

Nine minutes after the restart, though, Australia were back in front.

Rogic’s sweeping ball from the left slid past Hussein Al Jwayed to land at the feet of Ikonomidis, who steered his effort over the line despite a despairing dive from Omro Al Midani. The Syrian defence thought Al Midani had kept the ball from crossing the line, but referee Cesar Ramos awarded the goal to the Socceroos.

Substitute Giannou Apostolos then hit the post 15 minutes from time as the Socceroos sought to kill the game, and five minutes later Syria were level after referee Ramos pointed to the spot and Al Soma converted.

The points looked destined to be shared until Rogic intervened three minutes into added time with a superb strike, beating Alam to his left with a blistering effort from distance.

 

Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE

#AFCAsianCup2019 India 0-1 Bahrain

Sharjah: Jamal Rashed’s penalty in added time secured Bahrain a 1-0 win over India on Monday, taking them into the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 knockout stage.

With United Arab Emirates and Thailand playing to a 1-1 draw, Bahrain finished third in Group A with their haul of four points confirming them as one of the best four third-placed teams who will advance to the Round of 16.

UAE won the group with five points while Thailand, defeated 4-1 by India on Matchday One, completed an amazing comeback to seal second spot. The Southeast Asians finished above Bahrain based on their head-to-head record, with Thailand having won 1-0 on Matchday Two.

India suffered early problems at the back when Anas Edathodika was forced off with an injury in the fourth minute and was replaced with Salam Ranjan Singh.

Bahrain then applied pressure on the Blue Tigers’ defence as goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was called into action three minutes later when he saved Sayed Dhiya Saeed’s left footed shot from outside the box.

UAE will now meet the best third-placed team from either Group C, D or E while Thailand will meet the runners-up of Group C. Bahrain’s reward is a meeting with the winners of either Group B or C.

India were able to calm their nerves and responded in the 20th minute with Sunil Chhetri coming close to scoring for Stephen Constantine’s side but the striker failed to steer Gurpreet Singh’s long pass home.

Bahrain were the more dangerous side but wasted chances with Jamal Rashed and Sayed Dhiya Saeed both failing to find the mark with long-range efforts.

Miroslav Soukup’s side continued to press as they laid siege on India but were unable to convert their dominance into goals.

If India had hoped to have a bigger share of the match in the second half, Bahrain quickly put paid to that notion as they continued from where they had left off with Soukup’s team continuing to dominate.

The West Asians had a glimpse at goal in the 61st minute but Komail Alaswad failed to get his effort from outside the box on target.

Against the run of play, India had a golden opportunity five minutes later from a set-piece but Sunil Chhetri struck his free-kick way over the bar.

As the minutes ticked away, Bahrain turned on the pressure and came close when substitute Mohamed Marhoon looked to have scored, only for the woodwork to deny him.India continued to repel Bahrain’s advances but finally conceded a penalty late in the game after Hamed Alshamsan was brought down by Pronay Halder.

Rashed made no mistake from the spot, sending Gurpreet Singh the wrong way as Bahrain claimed the three points.

Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE

#AFCAsianCup2019 UAE 1-1 Thailand

Al Ain: Hosts the United Arab Emirates and Thailand both booked their places in the knockout stage of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 on Monday evening as a 1-1 draw at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium was enough to ensure both nations progressed.

Ali Mabkhout put Alberto Zaccheroni’s side ahead after seven minutes but Thitiphan Puangjan struck four minutes from time to earn the Thais a point that sees them take second place in Group A, following India’s late loss to Bahrain, thanks to a better head-to-head record.

While the UAE have qualified for the knockout phase for the second tournament in a row, Thailand will be featuring in the next round for the first time since reaching the semi-finals in 1972.

The hosts made the perfect start when, with many in the crowd of almost 18,000 still finding their seats, they hit the back of Siwarak Tedsungnoen’s goal.

Ismail Al Hammadi burst into the area and attempted to clip the ball over the Thai keeper, only for the ball to come back off the crossbar. But Mabkhout rose to head home the rebound from inside the six-yard box.

Khalfan Mubarak sought to double the lead 11 minutes later when he twisted his way past the Thai defence only to send a weak shot trundling through to Siwarak.

It took until almost midway through the half for the Thais to spark to life. Chanathip Songkrasin’s alertness allowed him to dispossess the UAE defence and feed Teerasil Dangda and his pass sent Adisak Kraisorn through on goal, only for Khalid Eisa to be equal to the task.

That was just a preview to the danger posed by Chanathip and, with four minutes left in the half, the Consadole Sapporo midfielder unlocked the UAE defence to secure the equaliser.

The midfielder’s deft ball into the area caused Mohamed Ahmad to panic and, in the ensuing mix-up, Thitiphan Puangjan slipped the ball past Eisa, with his strike delighting the vociferous band of Thais at the far end of the stadium.

A draw would suit both sides but, early in the second half, the UAE looked determined to reclaim the lead. Mabkhout was again the most likely source of a goal for the home side, and the Al Jazira man’s long-range strike had to be palmed around the post by Siwarak.

Teerasil threatened at the other end as he met Teerathon Bumathan’s corner, only for the ball to balloon high over the bar, and, despite attempts from both coaches to inject some urgency from the bench, the game trundled towards a draw that saw both teams go through.

 

Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE