IR Iran 0-0 Iraq

Dubai: Islamic Republic of Iran sealed top spot in Group D of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 after playing to a 0-0 draw with Iraq on Wednesday.

As group winners, Iran will play the third-placed team from either Group B, E or F in Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium on Sunday, while runners-up Iraq will face the winners of Group E – either Saudi Arabia or Qatar – in Al Nahyan Stadium on Tuesday.

Carlos Queiroz made four changes to Iran’s starting lineup, with Alireza Jahanbakhsh – who had missed the opening two fixtures – being given a chance to play before a packed Maktoum Stadium in Dubai.

Despite having secured qualification to the Round of 16, both sides adopted a high-tempo style of play, with Iran having the first glimpse at goal in the 12th minute when Vahid Amiri sent a cross into the box but Sardar Azmoun’s header was just off the mark.

Iran had the bigger share of the ball but failed to translate their possession into goals, with their attempts hardly troubling Iraqi goalkeeper Jalal Hassan Hachim and his defenders.

Three minutes from the half-time whistle, Jahanbakhsh could have broken the deadlock after latching on to Azmoun’s deflected attempt but couldn’t get his left-footed strike on target.

Iraq started the second half aggressively as they saw more possession and also continued to deny Iran with resilient defending.

Iran, in a bid to break down the Iraq defence, boosted their attacking prowess by bringing on Mehdi Taremi and Mahdi Torabi in the 63rd and 75th minutes respectively.

However, it was Iraq who nearly took the lead in the 77th minute when substitute Mohanad Ali Khadi’s header forced the best out of Iranian custodian Alireza Beiranvand, who tipped the ball over.

As the minutes ticked away, neither team was able to make headway as they settled for a share of the spoils.


Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE

Match preview: United Arab Emirates v Australia #AFCAsianCup2019


The Socceroos will be up against the weight of home support when they meet the United Arab Emirates in the Quarter Finals of AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ on Saturday morning (AEDT).

Al Ain will again be the scene as Australia attempt to build on their nail-biting shootout triumph against Uzbekistan, which came after 120 minutes of heavy possession and perspiration.

Mat Ryan shone with two superb spot-kick saves and Graham Arnold has expressed confidence in his players’ ability to back up from that match.

He will, however, be forced to compensate for the absence of a suspended key man for a do-or-die encounter that is simply not to be missed.

Where and when

Date: Saturday, January 26 (AEDT)

Venue: Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain

Kick-off: 3:00am (AEDT)

Socceroos squad news

Socceroos boss Arnold will have to make do without Tom Rogic after the influential playmaker picked up his second yellow card of the tournament against Uzbekistan.

Massimo Luongo could come in if Jackson Irvine is asked to plug the hole, while Mathew Leckie is also likely to come under consideration for a starting berth.

The Hertha Berlin winger returned from a hamstring injury last time out and appeared free of any discomfort throughout an encouraging cameo that ended with him stroking home the winning penalty.

Fellow forwards Robbie Kruse and Apostolos Giannou were also on target from 12 yards as Arnold’s substitutes all made contributions to the cause.

Andrew Nabbout, meanwhile, is continuing his recovery from a groin problem and may soon be ready to add extra depth to the exciting attacking options.

Andrew Nabbout
Andrew Nabbout

Current AFC rankings

Australia: 2

UAE: 8

Final word

Prevailing on penalties against a disciplined and defensive Uzbekistan will have reinforced the Socceroos’ belief they can emerge victorious from high-pressure situations.

That will need to be the case once more on Saturday morning (AEDT) with host nation UAE certain to enjoy fervent support.

An in-form Ryan certainly plays in Australia’s favour and the gun goalkeeper takes two clean sheets in his last three outings into the next assignment.

Another in Al Ain would go a long way to securing the team’s passage into the Semi Finals.


Source : Socceroos 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

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

#AFCAsianCup2019 Jordan’s Borkelmans hails experienced Shafi

Amer Shafi-Celebrate-Jordan

Al Ain: Jordan coach Vital Borkelmans hailed the performance of veteran goalkeeper Amer Shafi after the 36-year-old played a huge role in his side’s winning start to the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 with victory over defending champions Australia on Sunday.

Shafi, who is representing his country at the tournament for a fourth time after playing in the Finals in 2004, 2011 and 2015, made several important saves as the Socceroos attempted to find a way to cancel out Anas Bani Yaseen’s first half header.

Graham Arnold’s team was unable to claim an equaliser as Jordan held on to record a historic result against the holders, and Borkelmans praised Shafi’s impact, not only between the posts but on the rest of the players in the team.

“It’s his fourth tournament and that’s very special,” said the Belgian, who was appointed to his role in October. “The level he played at and the confidence he gave to the defenders was amazing.

“This confidence is very good and it’s important he gives something to the players of Jordan.

“I think we’ve done something special, but the next game is very important. The other two teams are also special teams and tough games and then maybe we can look to the next round.”

The Jordanians next take on Syria before facing off against Palestine in their final Group B clash and Borkelmans is hoping his players can perform in a similar manner to how they did at Al Ain’s Hazza bin Zayed Stadium to secure a place in the next phase of the competition.

“I’m a guy who played for many years and the confidence I have as a coach I give this to the players,” he said. “You saw my players, they were like they had three lungs and they can run for their country. We must do that every game.

“Every game is a tough game. My Asian Cup started in October and we have worked very hard to be ready for this tournament. A tournament is so special but you must be physically and mentally ready.”

Australia’s defeat was the second time in three tournaments the defending champions had lost their opening game after Iraq succumbed to Iran in their first match in the 2011 edition and Arnold was hoping to learn the lessons from the loss before the Socceroos meet Palestine on Friday.

“When you lose you learn and we’ll go back and look at the footage of it,” he said. “But if you’re going to lose a game then it’s better to lose the first game.

“It’s a wakeup call at the same time, but you have three games in the group and then if you get through to the knockout stage and you lose you go home. It’s more about where we can improve and get over that very quickly, and we will get over it very quickly and move forward.”

The former Sydney FC boss made no excuses for his side’s defeat and praised the performance of the Jordanians.

“Ten out of the 11 went to the World Cup, the only one that really debuted was (Awer) Mabil, who didn’t go to the World Cup,” he said. “I couldn’t really put out a more experienced side who know how to handle these occasions.

“Let’s not take anything away from Jordan, they did a fantastic job, played a great game and full credit to them.”


Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation Website

#AFCAsianCup2019 Eriksson: Philippines proved a point

Sven Goran-Paulo Bento

Dubai: Philippines head coach Sven-Goran Eriksson expressed his pride at his side’s performance against Korea Republic in their first-ever appearance at the AFC Asian Cup Finals on Monday.

In a match that was dominated by Korea Republic, the Azkals displayed impressive character to keep their opponents at bay before Hwang Ui-jo’s 67th minute strike eventually sealed the East Asians the win in the Group C tie.

“They played well, they won and we cannot complain too much about that, but anyhow, I am proud of the team we had out there,” said the 70-year-old Swedish coach.

“I think we stood up to them. They had the ball much more than we had, but we created some chances, and with a little bit of luck we could have had a different result for sure.

“I think we showed the people here in the stadium, in front of the television that this country (Philippines) can play football, because I think we did a lot of good things.”

The defeat, coupled with China PR’s 2-1 win against fellow tournament debutants Kyrgyz Republic in the day’s earlier match, places the Philippines last in the standings but Eriksson remains hopeful of their chances and believes they will improve in their next match against the Chinese.

“I think we played one of the best (teams) in this tournament tonight, and we created chances against them, so that gives up hope for the next two games in this group that we can do something even better,” Eriksson said.

“Even after we lost, the confidence went up. I spoke briefly with the players in the dressing room, and the mood is good (even though) we lost the game, and they know they did a good job.”

“I want to see that we dominate and keep the ball better against China. We created some good chances (against Korea Republic), and I’m sure we can do that against China as well, but we must keep the ball a little more than today. Good for the heart of the coach too.”

Meanwhile, Korea Republic head coach Paulo Bento and his charges are set to meet Kyrgyz Republic on Matchday Two, where a win would surely secure their place in the Round of 16 but the former Portugal boss wants to further improve his team’s style of play.

“What is the most important is that we prepare our strategy, and have in mind the way we are going to play. We are not going to change our way of playing, because what we need to do is improve our way of playing in order to play better,” Bento declared.

The hard-fought win saw three Koreans cautioned – Lee Yong, Kim Jin-su and Jung Woo-young – but Bento wasn’t overly concerned.

“Now it’s not (the time) to think about the yellow cards, but think about the next opponent.

“Focus on the next game, try to achieve three more points, and achieve our aim here in the group stage.”

Korea Republic play Kyrgyz Republic at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain on Friday.


Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation Website

#AFCAsianCup2019 Preview – Group B: Australia v Jordan


Al Ain: Australia coach Graham Arnold has consigned his nation’s AFC Asian Cup victory four years ago to the history books as he prepares to lead the defending champions into their first game of the 2019 edition against Jordan in Al Ain on Sunday.

The Socceroos claimed their first-ever AFC Asian Cup title on home soil in 2015 but, with a rejuvenated squad and a new man at the helm, Arnold was quick to stress he and his players are focused only on what lies ahead.

“That was four years ago, it was in our own nation and it’s a great memory for the Australian public, but in four years many things change in and around the team and also in people’s personal lives,” said Arnold, who took over as Australia coach following the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

“It’s a great memory, but we’re totally focused on what’s in front of us. We can’t do anything about the past and what’s in front of us is the Asian Cup. For the players and myself it’s time to get the show started. Everyone’s been talking about it for a long time and we’ve prepared for it and we’re ready.”

Arnold confirmed Mathew Leckie will not be fit enough to feature against the Jordanians in the Group B meeting after sustaining a hamstring injury in the build-up to the tournament, but he remains hopeful the Hertha Berlin winger will return soon.

“He’s coming along really well,” said the coach. “Obviously it’s one game at a time and we’ve really thrown our belief behind him, and he has a strong will to be with us. He’s worked hard since he came into camp and at this minute he’s only out for the first game and we’ll reassess for the second game.”

The Australians take on a Jordan side that has changed significantly since the two countries faced off in the second round of qualifying, when Jordan won the first meeting 2-0 in Amman before the Socceroos cruised to a 5-1 success in the return in Sydney.

New coach Vital Borkelmans has been in charge since October last year and the Belgian is focusing on trying to emulate the country’s previous best performances at the AFC Asian Cup, with Jordan reaching the quarter-finals in 2004 and 2011.

“Australia is very good, the country and the coach have made good performances and also they were at the World Cup and the experience they have at the Asian Cup is amazing,” he said.

“For us, we are preparing for every game, not only Australia is very important. There are good games also against Syria and Palestine. There are three teams in this one group from Arab countries, so this is a special group.

“This tournament is so special, for every team and every country the start is always dangerous and every team is scared to lose.”

The Jordanians come into the tournament off the back of just one win in their last five friendly games, with their three matches in Qatar during their pre-AFC Asian Cup training camp yielding only one goal.

That came in a 1-1 draw with China after Borkelmans’ team had already lost to both Kyrgyz Republic and Qatar, leaving the Belgian hoping his players’ fortunes in front of goal take a turn for the better after seeing his side create goal scoring opportunities.

“My team is ready physically and mentally and tomorrow they will hopefully make a good game like they did in Qatar and make a lot of chances as we did against China, Kyrgyzstan and Qatar,” he said.

“They made a lot of chances and it’s very important they make a lot of chances and one day it will change, and maybe that will be tomorrow.”


Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation Website

#AFCAsianCup2019 UAE 2019 Team Kits revealed-Group D

Resultado de imagem para AFC Asian Cup 2019

GROUP D: Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Vietnam, Yemen



Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation Website

#AFCAsianCup2019 UAE 2019 Team Kits revealed-Group C

Imagem relacionada

GROUP C: Korea Republic, China PR, Kyrgyz Republic, Philippines


Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation Website

#AFCAsianCup2019 UAE 2019 Team Kits revealed-Group B

Imagem relacionada

GROUP B: Australia, Syria, Palestine, Jordan


Sourcfe : AFC Asian Football Confederation Website