#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

#AFCAsianCup2019 Saudi Arabia 4-0 DPR Korea

Dubai: Saudi Arabia defeated DPR Korea 4-0 to open their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Group E campaign in style at the Rashid Stadium in Dubai on Tuesday.

Both sides had met in the Continental showpiece four years ago, with Saudi Arabia winning 4-1, but DPR Korea – powered by five players who had played abroad – went into the match confident of their chances.

The opening minutes saw possession evenly balanced but as the match progressed, the Green Falcons began to dominate with their first clear chance coming in the 13th minute through Abdulaziz Al Bishi’s left-footed strike which just missed the target. 

Saudi Arabia’s Hatan Bahbri was a nuisance for the Koreans down the left flank and his cross into the box in the 24th minute showed his threat, with a sliding Ali Hadi Albulayhi just failing to connect.

Four minutes later, Bahbri did it on his own as he dribbled past DPR Korea’s Ri Il-jin and sent a curler from the left that left the DPR Korea goalkeeper rooted.

Juan Antonio Pizzi’s side grew in confidence after the goal and they doubled their lead in the 37th with an amazing goal.

Hussain Almoqahwi’s free-kick from just outside the box sailed into the box and Mohammed Al Fatil diverted it into the net with a back heel.

DPR Korea suffered another blow just a minute before the break when Han Kwang-song received a second yellow card for a tackle on Almoqahwi.

Despite being reduced to 10 men, Kim Yong-jun’s side refused to give up and came close in the 64th minute through skipper Jong Il-gwan but the Saudi defenders regrouped to deny him.

Moments later, Saudi Arabia had a missed opportunity with Fahad Almuwallad sidestepping defender Kim Chol-bom and ‘keeper Ri Myong-guk, but his shot flew wide.

The Chollima’s defence was beginning to show signs of tiredness, and the Green Falcons took advantage of it in the 70th minute, when Salem Aldawsari was left unmarked and the Saudi captain made no mistake from the centre of the box to make it 3-0.

There was to be a fourth as in the 87th minute, defender Kim Song-gi failed to clear Hamdan Alshamrani’s cross into the box, and Almuwallad slammed the ball into the back of the net to seal Saudi Arabia’s first opening AFC Asian Cup match triumph since they emerged champions in 1996.

Saudi Arabia will next meet Lebanon at Dubai’s Al Maktoum Stadium on Saturday, while DPR Korea will take on Qatar at the Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium on Sunday.


Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation Website

#AFCAsianCup2019 Iraq 3-2 Vietnam

Abu Dhabi: Ali Adnan’s last gasp strike helped Iraq begin their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 campaign with a narrow 3-2 defeat of Vietnam on Tuesday.

Champions in 2007, Iraq had been behind twice before Adnan’s sublime set-piece secured all three points for Srečko Katanec’s relieved charges against a highly rated Vietnam side at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City Stadium.

At a competition where, so far at least, several of the region’s powerhouses have had things far from their own way, the victory saw Iraq go second in the Group D standings, behind the Islamic Republic of Iran who top the table following their 5-0 win over Yemen a day earlier.

After a slow start to proceedings, and with Vietnam more than holding their own, Iraq came closest to breaking the deadlock through Hussein Al Saedi’s shot from distance which Dang Van Lâm expertly tipped around his left-hand post on 14 minutes.

Content to sit back and then break with lightning speed, an irrepressible Vietnam duly took the lead 10 minutes later, Nguyen Quang Hai’s searching pass causing confusion in the Iraqi backline which saw defender Ali Faez turn the ball past the onrushing Jalal Hassan and into his own net.

Iraq rallied after the setback however, and they claimed a deserved equaliser shortly after the half-hour mark when Do Duy Manh’s defensive lapse saw the impressive Mohanad Ali Kadhim surge into the area and fire home past a diving Van Lâm.

With three minutes of an enthralling first period remaining, Vietnam regained the lead in dramatic fashion as Nguyen Công Phuong bundled home the rebound after Nguyen Trong Hoàng’s shot had been parried into his path by Hassan.

The game’s topsy-turvy nature showed no sign of relenting after the break, with Safaa Hadi being denied by the alert Van Lâm and then Hassan diving to smother a scuffed Công Phuong effort.

Iraq continued to press for an equaliser, and it duly came in the 60th minute, substitute Humam Tareq gleefully smashing the ball into the roof of the net after Vietnam had failed to properly clear Kadhim’s close-range effort.

Vietnam responded well through a Quang Hai strike which Hassan expertly turned to safety, before Iraq began to dominate proceedings with the full-time whistle approaching.

Indeed, in the final dramatic twist of a quite extraordinary encounter, Ali Adnan curled home a 90th minute free-kick from fully 20 yards to seal a sensational victory for Iraq.

Iraq now face Yemen in Sharjah on Saturday, while Vietnam will play the table-topping Iranians in Abu Dhabi on the same day.


Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation Website

#AFCAsianCup2019 United Arab Emirates 1- 1 Bahrein


Abu Dhabi:  A last gasp Ahmed Khalil penalty ensured host nation the United Arab Emirates a share of the spoils as they drew 1-1 with Bahrain in their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Group A opener on Saturday.

With time running out, Khalil impressively held his nerve to convert from 12 yards for the 1996 AFC Asian Cup runners-up after Mohamed Al Rohaimi had given a resilient Bahrain the lead just 10 minutes earlier.

The draw, played out in front of a vocal crowd at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City Stadium, sees the regional rivals tied at the top of the Group A standings ahead of Sunday’s match between fellow group hopefuls India and Thailand.

After a cautious opening, it was to be the UAE who threatened first, striker Ali Mabkhout expertly finding Ismail Al Hammadi who raced into the area and fired narrowly wide of Bahrain goalkeeper Sayed Shubbar’s far post with six minutes played.

With the Emiratis slowly but surely gaining an albeit tentative foothold in the game, Mabkhout scuffed an effort when well-placed and then blasted a shot over the bar from 15 yards after a fine Ali Salmin cross on 23 minutes.

Bahrain’s first genuine opportunity followed shortly after, but the impressive Al Rohaimi failed to find the target with a header from Komail Al Aswad’s curled delivery.

In the final moments of an intriguing first half, Al Aswad came within inches of handing Bahrain the lead only for his delightful free-kick from 25 yards to flash narrowly over the bar.

The opening moments of the second period duly followed the pattern of the first, as the UAE looked to impose themselves on their opponents who still carried a threat.

Indeed, UAE custodian Khalid Eisa had to be at his very best in the 52nd minute to palm away Ali Madan’s fierce drive and expertly block Al Rohaimi’s subsequent follow-up.

The seemingly omnipresent Mabkhout then flashed a shot inches wide of the target as the UAE continued to search for the breakthrough, before Al Rohaimi brought the best out of Eisa with a low drive that the goalkeeper did well to palm away to safety.

Bahrain’s resilience was though to pay handsome dividends on 78 minutes when they took the lead. Defender Sayed Redah Isa crossed to Al Rohaimi who saw his initial header cleared off the line before ramming home the rebound.

There was, however, more drama to come as Bahrain substitute Mohamed Mahroon, who had only just come on, handled in the area on 88 minutes and Ahmed Khalil rammed home the resulting penalty to ensure his side a point.

The UAE are next in action when they face India at the same venue on Thursday, with Bahrain set to face Thailand in Dubai on the same day.


Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation Website