#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

#AFCAsianCup2019 Lebanon 0-2 Saudi Arabia

Dubai: Saudi Arabia powered to a 2-0 victory over Lebanon on Saturday, placing the Green Falcons within sight of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Round of 16.

The win places Saudi Arabia on top of the Group E standings with six points, and they will seal their place in the knockout stage should DPR Korea not beat Qatar on Sunday.

Lebanon, defeated 2-0 by Qatar on Matchday One, will have to beat DPR Korea if they are to have a chance of advancing as one of the four best third-place teams.

In the all-West Asian affair at the Al Maktoum Stadium, Saudi Arabia took control of the match from the start, holding possession and forcing Lebanon to play on the counter-attack.

Saudi Arabia found their breakthrough in the 12th minute when they latched onto a defensive mistake.

The action began with Lebanon’s Joan Oumari’s back pass deflecting off teammate Robert Alexander Melki’s left boot, and the ball landed near Saudi Arabia’s Fahad Almuwalad, who half-volleyed home from close range.

Miodrag Radulovic’s Lebanon were undeterred and had two opportunities but Oumari failed to keep his header down in the 16th minute, while George Felix Melki just missed Hassan Maatouk’s free-kick eight minutes later.

The Cedars returned from the break with a spring in their step and and began pushing the Saudis back, but almost paid a price when Bahbri took a chance from almost 30 yards out which forced ‘keeper Mehdi Khalil into action.

Bahbri, who was a threat against DPR Korea in their group opener, turned provider in the 67th minute when the Al Shabab midfielder’s cross into the box found a sliding Hussain Almoqahwi who made it 2-0.

In their final group match on Thursday, Saudi Arabia will play Qatar in Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City Stadium, while Lebanon face a must-win match against DPR Korea in Sharjah to keep their hopes of reaching the knockout stage alive.

 

Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE

#AFCAsianCup2019 Yemen 0-3 Iraq

Sharjah: Iraq sealed a place in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 knockout stage after cruising to a 3-0 win over Yemen in a Group D tie at the Sharjah Stadium on Saturday.

Iraq’s second successive victory – having defeated Vietnam 3-2 on Matchday One – meant Srecko Katanec’s team join Islamic Republic of Iran on six points with Wednesday’s clash with Team Melli to determine who finishes at the top of the standings.

Iran defeated Vietnam 2-0 earlier on Saturday. For Yemen, it was their second defeat after having lost 5-0 to Iran in their opener.

Despite Iraq coming into the match as the heavy favourites, it was Yemen who applied the early pressure.

Iraq, however, gradually began to dominate possession and took the lead in the 11th minute when 18-year-old Mohanad Ali Kadhim beat the Yemen defence before unleashing a shot from outside the box into the bottom right corner.

Yemen had their first look at goal from a set-piece five minutes later, but Abdulwasea Al-Matari sent his header just above the bar.

Yemen goalkeeper Saoud Al-Sowadi soon found himself under incessant pressure and conceded the second goal in the 19th minute when Bashar Resan Bonyan’s strike from the top of the box bounced off the right post before settling in the net.

Iraq took their foot off the pedal after that but Jan Kocian’s Yemen found it difficult to gain possession as the 2007 champions comfortably held on to their lead going into the break.

It was end to end action in the second half as both teams came close to finding the net with Ahmed Saeed’s right-footed shot from outside the box just kept out by Iraq goalkeeper Jalal Hassan Hachim in the 59th minute.

Iraq responded five minutes later, with Ali Kadhim coming close to getting his second but his lob was denied by the post and Ahmed Yaseen Gheni missed the chance to tuck the rebound home.

Yemen had another chance to give themselves a chance to find a way back from a set-piece in the 82nd minutes which missed the target.

Instead, 2015 semi-finalists Iraq ended proceedings on a high note as Alaa Abbas score with a left-footed shot from the centre of the box into the net.

 

Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE

#AFCAsianCup2019 Philippines 0-3 China PR

Abu Dhabi: China PR all but qualified for the knockout phase of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 on Friday as they overcame a resilient Philippines to secure a vital 3-0 win.

Two goals from the ever-impressive Wu Lei and a late strike from Yu Dabao saw the East Asians maintain their position at the top of Group C, with the result ensuring that Marcello Lippi’s charges cannot finish any lower than third, regardless of what happens in the group’s remaining games.

While China virtually sealed their progress, the Philippines, following their second successive group stage defeat, now need a win in their final match against Kyrgyz Republic to remain in contention for a place in the Round of 16 as one of the best third-placed finishers.

Rarely given a moment to settle by their tenacious opponents, China initially struggled to fully impose themselves on the game, with Philippines goalkeeper Michael Falkesgaard comfortably gathering long-range efforts from Hao Junmin and Zhao Xuri inside the first 10 minutes.

Clearly emboldened by their bright start, the Philippines threatened to break the deadlock themselves in the 23rd minute when neat approach play saw Patrick Reichelt and John Patrick Strauss combine to set-up Javier Patiño whose goalbound effort was blocked by defender Feng Xiaoting.

However, after Wu Xi had flashed a header narrowly wide, China went ahead on 40 minutes, Wu Lei receiving Hao’s pass and finishing with aplomb from 12 yards past Falkesgaard.

In the final moments of a lively first half, China custodian Yan Junling produced a fine save to deny Kevin Ingreso and maintain his side’s slender advantage.

China were quickly into their stride after the break, as Wu Lei’s angled volley forced Falkesgaard into a stunning save, before the Shanghai SIPG star bagged his second of the game with a consummate finish from Hao’s 66th minute free-kick.

Falkesgaard then pulled off another stop to deny Wu Lei once again, only for Yu Dabao to add a third and round off the scoring for China in the 80th minute when he made the most of hesitant Philippines defending from a corner to head home only moments after coming on a substitute.

China are set to complete their group stage campaign against regional rivals Korea Republic on Wednesday, while the Philippines will face Kyrgyz Republic on the same day in Dubai.

 

Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE

#AFCAsianCup2019 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

#AFCAsianCup2019 Japan 3-2 Turkmenistan

Yuya Osako-Goal-Japan

Abu Dhabi: Japan were forced to come from behind and survive a late Turkmenistan rally before sealing a 3-2 win over their Central Asian opponents to begin their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Group F campaign with a vital, albeit narrow, victory on Wednesday.

Trailing 1-0 at half-time, Yuya Osaka’s brace and a goal from Ritsu Doan proved the difference in a game which had seen four-time champions Japan trailing at half-time before a spirited revival ensured all three points for Hajime Moriyasu’s charges.

The result takes Japan to the top of Group F ahead of the day’s later game between group rivals Uzbekistan and Oman in Sharjah.

In hot conditions at Abu Dhabi’s Al Nahyan Stadium, Japan started brightly although resolute Turkmenistan defending forced the Samurai Blue to wait until the 12th minute for their first genuine opportunity, Doan failing to beat Mamed Orazmuhamedov with a close-range header following a pinpoint Takehiro Tomiyasu pass.

Turkmenistan responded well however, as Vahyt Orazsakhedov forced the onrushing Shuichi Gonda into a fine smothering save, and Mekan Saparov inexplicably headed over from the resulting corner.

Having gained a foothold in the game, Turkmenistan continued to press, and, somewhat against the run of play, they took the lead on 27 minutes when captain Arslanmurat Amanov unleashed a powerful long-range effort which flew into the net giving Gonda little or no chance.

A lively Osako then saw a lashed effort fizz narrowly wide, before Orazmuhamedov denied Tomiyasu with a fingertip save.

As half-time approached, a clearly emboldened Turkmenistan came close to doubling their advantage, this time Ahmet Atayev stinging an alert Gonda’s palms with a rasping angled drive.

Little seemed to have changed immediately after the break, as Japan huffed and puffed but failed to break through a determined Turkmenistan defence in which Ylyasov Vezirgeldi was excelling.

A flicked Genki Haraguchi header which sailed inches wide of the target, did, however, hint that a Japanese equaliser was in the offing, and it duly came in the 56th minute, Osako turning neatly in the area and firing home with aplomb.

Four minutes later Japan took the lead when Mekan Saparov’s blunder allowed Yuto Nagatomo to find Werder Bremen ace Osaka who easily converted to bag his second of the match.

With Turkmenistan tiring, two became three for Japan shortly after, Takumi Minamino finding Doan who spun away from his marker and fired into the bottom corner beyond Orazmuhamedov’s despairing dive.

To their credit, Turkmenistan refused to buckle and they handed themselves a potential lifeline on 79 minutes when Atayev converted from the spot after Gonda had upended substitute Altymyrat Annadurdyyev in the area.

It was not be though for Yazguly Hojageldiyev’s side, as Japan held firm to edge themselves over the winning line and leave Turkmenistan to reflect on what could have been.

Japan, who have only failed to progress from the group stage once since making their AFC Asian Cup debut in 1988, are now scheduled to play Oman in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, with Turkmenistan playing Uzbekistan in Dubai on the same day.

 

Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation Website