#AFCAsianCup2019 UAE 1-0 Australia

Al Ain: Australia’s defence of their AFC Asian Cup title came to an end on Friday evening as Ali Mabkhout’s second half goal earned tournament hosts the United Arab Emirates a 1-0 win over the Socceroos and set up a semi-final meeting with Qatar.

Mabkhout took advantage of an under-hit back pass midway through the second half to steal in behind the Australian defence and round Maty Ryan to register the only strike of the game.

Alberto Zaccheroni’s side will now take on Qatar with a place in the final at stake as the hosts moved one step closer to emulating their run to the deciding game when the tournament was last held in the UAE in 1996.

With Tom Rogic unavailable due to suspension, Graham Arnold went for a tactical switch that saw Australia start with Jamie Maclaren and Apostolos Giannou paired together in attack while Robbie Kruse and Chris Ikonomidis patrolled the flanks.

There were changes, too, for the hosts. Ismaeil Mattar made his first start of the tournament alongside Mabkhout as Zaccheroni also introduced Walid Abbas, Fares Juma, Majed Hassan and Mohamed Ahmad as he made five changes to the side that eventually saw off Kyrgyz Republic.


Zaccheroni’s alterations were the first to take effect as the Emiratis started brightly. With less than a minute on the clock, Ismail Al Hammadi controlled Ali Hassan’s ball into the area before forcing Ryan to palm the ball clear.

In a lively opening, Trent Sainsbury sent his looping header of Ikonomidis’ corner over the bar as both teams started with few inhibitions.

Ryan was on hand once more to deny the hosts as the clock ticked towards the 20 minute mark when Al Hammadi, again, threatened after stepping inside Sainsbury to fire off an effort that the Socceroos keeper pushed away.


Neither side was prepared to sit back in an open and entertaining first half, with Australia taking advantage of the space in midfield to dominate for periods without finding a way through the well-drilled Emirati defence.

With five minutes left in the half the Socceroos did find a way through as Giannou was presented with the time to set his sight on goal, but Khalid Eisa swatted that shot clear. At the other end, Ali Mabkhout missed the chance of the half, heading over from close range.


Australia ramped up the pressure in the second period as Degenek and Jackson Irvine both saw their headers from corners miss the target and Ikonomidis dragged his shot just wide. Giannou then had the ball in the net following the introduction of Mathew Leckie for Maclaren, but his effort was ruled out for offside.

There was to be no such intervention, though in the 68th minute when Mabkhout put the UAE ahead with their first opening of the second period, the Al Jazira forward alert enough to step in to intercept Degenek’s backpass before rounding Ryan to score.


Australia grew increasingly desperate as the clock ticked down, with Arnold throwing on Awer Mabil and Andrew Nabbout in an attempt to claw back an equaliser but the Socceroos came up short to end their reign as Asian champions and allow the UAE advance.


Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE

Russia 2018 Asian Qualifiers: Thailand 1-1 UAE

Bangkok: Ali Mabkhout’s injury-time equaliser kept alive the United Arab Emirates’ slim hopes of a place at Russia 2018 after they salvaged a point with a 1-1 draw against Group B’s bottom side Thailand on Tuesday at Rajamangala Stadium.

The Emiratis had begun the tie seven points behind Saudi Arabia and Australia, who occupy second and third, and needed at a minimum a draw from the clash in Southeast Asia to keep them in with at least a mathematical chance of third place and a play-off spot with two games remaining.

Already eliminated from the World Cup finals, having chalked up just the single point from seven games, hosts Thailand were absent several key starters and a goalless first-half saw the visitors enjoy the lion’s share of possession but unable to create much in the way of clear-cut chances with the home side similarly struggling in attack.

It took until 64 minutes for the first clear opening when Ahmed Khalil fired in a free-kick which needed a smart save from Kawin Thamsatchanan in the Thailand goal. But just five minutes later, Mongkol Tossakrai turned up the volume in Bangkok when UAE goalkeeper Majed Naser fumbled Perapat Notechaiya’s low cross from the left and the forward stabbed home.

As the game entered added time and Thailand began to believe they would secure their first ever victory in the final round of World Cup qualifying they were hit by a sucker-punch as Tariq Ahmed’s long pass reached Ismaeil Matar and he found Mabkhout in the area to fire home.

Source : Asian Football Confederation Website

Who are the UAE players the Caltex Socceroos must be wary of in their FIFA World Cup qualifier in Abu Dhabi?

Who are the UAE players the Caltex Socceroos must be wary of in their FIFA World Cup qualifier in Abu Dhabi?

The panenka-scoring striker, the bushy-haired baller that Xavi rates and the baseball cap-wearing mentor. Asian football expert @JohnnyDuerden spotlights five UAE names who could make life difficult for our Caltex Socceroos on Wednesday morning (KO 1.30am AEST).

The Caltex Socceroos take on the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday evening in the second game in the final round of qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Both teams recorded victories in the opener last Thursday with Australia defeating Iraq 2-0 while the UAE went to Japan and won 2-1.

It’s a huge game and there are five UAE stars for Australian fans, players and coaching staff to watch out for.

Ahmed Khalil

The striker is not only the current AFC Player of the Year and one of Asia’s most dangerous strikers, he is currently the talk of the continent’s football scene.

His reputation, already pretty high, went through the roof last week with two memorable goals to sink Japan.

Both showed the kind of technique that he has become famous for. The first was a fine free-kick that flew into the top corner but the second was a penalty and even more impressive, a delicate Panenka over the diving goalkeeper.

To come out with such a move at such a stage of the game and on such a stage was as breathtaking as it was majestic.

Khalil is on fire and at the moment, give him a chance and the 25 year-old will score.

Mahdi Ali

The coach – and his fashion accessory, a baseball cap – have been a feature of United Arab Emirates football for years.

This youthful-looking 51 year-old has been the boss of various national youth teams at Under 19, 20 and 23 levels and took the main job back in 2012.

Coming through the ranks with many of his players, he is close to his stars as any coach and has a habit of answering questions meant for them at press conferences.

He has guided the so-called ‘golden generation’ to the 2012 Olympics, to third place at the 2015 Asian Cup and perhaps, a first World Cup since 1990.

Ali has built a stable framework for the UAE national team, something that many predecessors failed to do or did not even attempt.

The end result is that everyone knows their roles and those of their team-mates. Not afraid to fight the clubs and federation to get what he wants, the best may be yet to come

Omar Abdulrahman

The playmaker needs little introduction to fans around Asia.

He wowed the 2015 Asian Cup with his skills, touches and vision. The 24 year-old may not defend as much as his coach would like but when you are as good going forward as the bushy-haired baller then you just have to shrug your shoulders and enjoy the show.

Linked closely to big European clubs such as Manchester City, Barcelona and Arsenal, he plays just behind the strikers though drifts wherever he wants, including on the frontline.

There is little he can’t do on the ball and when you have Spanish star Xavi singing your praises then you know you have made it.

It is not often he is overshadowed by a team-mate but he was last week by Ahmed Khalil.

Australia should watch out as ‘Amoory’ is raring to go.

Ali Mabkhout

The striker is on fire. There is a debate to be had in the United Arab Emirates as to who is the better forward: Ahmed Khalil or Ali Mabkhout.

The latter’s resume is impressive. Top scorer with five at the 2014 Gulf Cup, five at the 2015 Asian Cup and already five in qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

The 25 year-old works incredibly hard and never stops running. Increasingly composed in front of goal, Mabkhout has really benefited from the faith that has been placed in him by the coach.

When Khalil does not score, this man often takes up the slack and vice-versa.

Amer Abdulrahman

The classy midfielder not make the headlines that his namesake collects but that’s not a problem for the 27-year-old.

He will relish facing Australia in his hometown of Abu Dhabi, though he recently joined Al Ain in what was perhaps the signing of the year in the UAE league.

Rarely puts a foot wrong and does so much right. Can pick a pass, can read the game and can be an island of composure when things are going a little crazy all around.

Is the kind of player that is loved and rated by fans who know how important he is to the team.

Football Federation Australia

Iraq 2 – 3 United Arab Emirates

Newcastle: Tournament leading scorer Ali Mabkhout netted a second half penalty as the United Arab Emirates claimed third place at the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 after edging out former champions Iraq 3-2 in a thrilling contest at Newcastle Stadium on Friday.

Captain Ahmed Khalil opened the scoring for the UAE after 16 minutes only for Waleed Salim and Amjed Kalaf to turn the contest in favour of 2007 champions Iraq before half-time.

But after Khalil levelled the entertaining contest at the start of the second half with his fourth of the campaign, Mabkhout coolly netted his fifth just before the hour mark after Iraq’s Ahmed Ibrahim had been sent-off to hand the 1996 finalists their second-best finish at the AFC Asian Cup.

With both coaches retaining the majority of their first team and only making minor changes to their starting line-ups following their semi-final defeats earlier in the week, it was the UAE’s exciting front three which helped Mahdi Ali’s side open the scoring as Mabkhout freed Omar Abdulrahman following a swift counterattack and Khalil was on hand to produce a first-time finish inside the penalty area from the perfectly weighted through ball.

Iraq, though, were almost back on level terms just four minutes later as Younus Mahmood’s follow-up was acrobatically tipped over the crossbar by substitute UAE goalkeeper Khalid Eisa after Majed Hassan’s attempted sliding clearance on the edge of the penalty area had bounced back off the woodwork following a deflection off the veteran striker.

But Eisa was given no chance after 28 minutes as Salim was found inside the area by Kalaf and the full-back’s strike crucially deflected off Khamis Esmaeel to beat the UAE goalkeeper high at his near post.

And Eisa was again beaten three minutes before half-time as the UAE custodian could only parry a low rasping drive from Ahmed Yasin from just outside the area and Kalaf was first to react to volley home from 10 yards.

Iraq maintained their pressure at the start of the second half and came close to extending their advantage less than a minute after the restart as Mahmood scuffed wide from inside the area with only Eisa to beat from Yaser Kasim’s pass.

The miss, though, proved costly for Iraq as just six minutes later Khalil beat the offside trap from Abdulrahman’s superb chipped ball forward, and after taking one touch to evade onrushing goalkeeper Mohammed Hamed, the striker rolled the ball into the empty net.

And three minutes before the hour mark the UAE completed the comeback as Ibrahim was sent-off after hauling down Mabkhout inside the area following a mistake by goalkeeper Hamed and the striker picked himself up to coolly beat the Iraq custodian from the resulting penalty to move one goal clear of Jordan’s Hamza Al Dardour and team-mate Khalil at the top of the goalscoring chart.

The UAE came close to extending their lead with 15 minutes remaining as substitute Walid Abbas headed against the foot of the back post from Abdulrahman’s deep corner.

And despite Iraq pressing forward in the closing stages, the UAE held on to claim third place at the AFC Asian Cup for the first time having lost to China on penalties at the same stage in 1992.

Photo: WSG

Source : Asian Football Confederation Website

Bahrain 1-2 United Arab Emirates

Canberra: One of the fastest goals ever scored in AFC Asian Cup history from the boot of Ali Mabkhout and a second-half own goal by Mohamed Hasan were enough to give the United Arab Emirates a 2-1 victory over Bahrain on Thursday.

Striker Mabkhout’s opener came within just 14 seconds of kick-off in the Group C match played at a sun-drenched Canberra Stadium. However, Nigeria-born striker Jaycee John brought Bahrain back into the tie with a header before the half hour mark.

The match continued in end-to-end fashion and it took an unfortunate own goal from Bahrain captain Hasan on the 74th minute to separate the sides as the Island nation were eliminated from the tournament, following their defeat on Sunday to Iran.

After a convincing 4-1 victory over Gulf Cup champions Qatar at Canberra Stadium on Sunday, UAE coach Mahdi Ali made just the one change to his starting 11 with Mohamed Ahmad replacing Mohanad Al Enzi in defence.

Bahrain coach Marjan Eid, meanwhile, brought in four new faces as he looked for a positive result to ensure his side’s tournament would continue to the final group game.

But Eid could have hardly prepared for what happened in the opening seconds of the game. Shortly after the kick off, Bahrain defender Abdulla Omar lost the ball to Omar Abdulrahman in the right-back position and the playmaker’s immediate lofted pass found Mabkhout running through on goal to slip the ball under goalkeeper Sayed Mohamed Jaffer for an extraordinary start to the contest.

Despite the stunning setback, Bahrain looked to respond and Abdulwahab Al Malood and Jaycee John both had volleyed efforts at Majed Naser’s goal that flew wide.

Mohamed Abdulrahman could have then helped the UAE go two goals to the good after he did well to retain possession inside the penalty area and play in Ahmed Khalil but the striker could only fire his shot onto the foot of Jaffer’s near post.

And UAE’s failure to convert was punished on 25 minutes as Jaycee John rose highest at the back post to power home Faouzi Aaish’s inswinging corner with a thumping header.

Three minutes later the powerful forward almost replicated his efforts and he headed a left-wing cross from Rashed Al Hooti that Naser did well to save.

As the first period continued in frenetic fashion, Omar Abdulrahman then danced past two defenders before playing in Mabkhout who tricked his way past Jaffer only to see the ball cleared off the line.

The second period didn’t begin as dramatically as the first, but Al Malood did have a chance on goal 10 minutes after the interval as Jaycee John’s header back to him found him with space for a shot inside the penalty area, but the forward could only steer his shot narrowly wide.

A Bahraini back pass before the hour mark was punished with a free kick a yard inside the penalty area, and from the dead-ball Omar Abdulrahman clipped the top of the crossbar with a sweetly-struck shot.

But on 73 minutes, again from a set piece, the UAE took the lead. An inswinging free kick from the left side by Amer Abdulrahman  curled dangerously into the penalty area and was met by the head of Bahrain skipper Hasan and inadvertently flew into his own net.

Bahrain almost restored parity through a free kick of their own through Faouzi Aaish but Naser was able to tipped over the inswinging free kick from the right as Bahrain cranked up the pressure with forwards Abdulatif and Sami Al Husaini entering the fray.

But, the UAE were able to contain the Bahraini onslaught and saw out the tie and take all three points to win their second consecutive game at the continental championship.

Photo: WSG

Source : Asian Football Confederation website

ACL 2015 Play-off: Bunyodkor 2-1 Al Jazira

Tashkent: Goals by Vokhid Shodiev and Sardor Rashidov secured Bunyodkor an eighth consecutive appearance in the group stage of the AFC Champions League after the Uzbek side defeated UAE club Al Jazira 2-1 in the final round of the play-offs on Tuesday.

Forward Shodiev was on target midway through the first half at Bunyodkor Stadium only for Ali Mabkhout to draw the sides level from the penalty spot on the brink of half-time.

Rashidov, though, put the hosts back in front on the 52nd minute and the Tashkent club were able to see out the tie to take the final place in Group A alongside Saudi Arabian champions Al Nassr, Qatar Stars League winners Lekhwiya and Iran’s Persepolis.

Al Jazira, who had defender Khalid Sebil dismissed in stoppage time, meanwhile, missed out on a seventh consecutive appearance in the group stage of the AFC Champions League.

Bunyodkor had been boosted by the news that Al Jazira’s star foreign import and top scorer Mirko Vucinic was not in the matchday squad and the home side ran most of the early proceedings of the tie with Uzbekistan international Rashidov often the attacking outlet.

A succession of corner kicks from Rashidov pelted Khaled Al Senaani’s goal and it was from his free-kick wide on the right that the opener arrived as the 23-year-old’s whipped in-swinging delivery caused consternation in the Al Jazira backline.

And after Basheer Saeed’s attempted clearance ricocheted off the back of team-mate Abdulla Mousa, Shodiev was on hand to slide home past Al Senaani after the ball had fortunately dropped into his path.

Bunyodkor continued to look worthy of their lead, but on the stroke of half-time Al Jazira regained parity as Jonathan Pitropia was upended by Bunyodkor goalkeeper Akbar Turaev following a through ball from Mabkhout, who converted the resulting penalty.

But just seven minutes into the second half, Rashidov was again in the thick of the action as he latched onto a long ball over the top from Sato Minori and out-paced the flat-footed Al Jazira defence before deftly side-footing the ball into the top left-hand corner past Al Senaani.

The Emirati club strived to find an equaliser and Mabkhout looked the man most likely to haul them level as he squeezed past two Bunyodkor defenders on 66 minutes to go one-on-one with Turaev, but his angled shot across goal rolled wide of the far post.

Al Jazira were almost caught out at the other end of the pitch as second-half substitute Eldor Shomurodov sent a header narrowly wide with six minutes of the match remaining.

But the visitor’s chances of snatching an equaliser were dealt a final blow in the first minute of added time when Sebil received a red card for hauling down substitute Dostonbek Khamdamov when through on goal.

Bunyodkor, though, will see their AFC Champions League campaign continue as they travel to Saudi Arabia to face Al Nassr in Riyadh next Tuesday.


Source : Asian Football Confederation Website

Ali Mabkhout on the mark as Bunyodkor beckon for Al Jazira

Ras Al Khaimah: AFC Asian Cup 2015 Top Scorer Ali Mabkhout was on target again as Al Jazira geared up for their 2015 AFC Champions League Play-off against Bunyodkor with a 2-0 victory over Emirates in their final domestic fixture ahead of their trip to Tashkent.

Mabkhout, who netted five times in the UAE’s impressive third-place finish at Australia 2015, opened the scoring 18 minutes into Thursday’s UAE league Round 16 clash before seeing his angled shot deflected into the net by Emirates defender Mubarak Saeed as Al Jazira opened up a three-point lead over inaugural ACL champions Al Ain at the top of the table.

Next up for Al Jazira AFC Champions League 2015 Play-off against two-time semi-finalists Bunyodkor, with a place in Group A alongside Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr, Lekhwiya of Qatar, and Tehran giants Persepolis going to the winner of Tuesday’s encounter in Tashkent.

Photo: WSG


Source : Asian Football Confederation Website

United Arab Emirates’s Ali Mabkhout claims Top Goal Scorer Award

Sydney: United Arab Emirates striker Ali Mabkhout claimed the Top Goal Scorer Award presented by Konica Minolta at the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 after the Al Jazira frontman netted five goals in six games for the third place finishers.

Mabkhout, 24, netted the second half winner from the penalty spot on Friday at Newcastle Stadium as the UAE claimed third place with a thrilling 3-2 win over 2007 champions Iraq.

And with Australia’s Tim Cahill unable to add to his three goal tally in Saturday’s final against Korea Republic, which the Socceroos won 2-1 after extra-time at Stadium Australia, Mabkhout finished one goal clear of team-mate Ahmed Khalil and Jordan’s Hamza Al Dardour at the top of the table.

“I am very happy for Ali Mabkhout to score the fifth goal and to be one of the top scorers for the Asian Cup,” said Khalil after scoring twice in Friday’s win over Iraq.

“Ali deserved to be nominated as one of the top scorers in this competition and I am very happy for him, he deserves it.”

Mabkhout opened his account with two goals as the UAE began their campaign with a 4-1 win over Gulf Cup champions Qatar before also finding the net as Mahdi Ali’s side edged out Bahrain 2-1 to claim a second win in Group C.

He was unable to find the target as Group C winners Iran edged out the UAE 1-0 at the end of the group stage.

Mabkhout, though, crucially returned to the score-sheet with the early opener as the UAE eventually edged out defending champions Japan on penalties in their quarter-final following a 1-1 draw after extra-time.

Ali’s side did lose their semi-final 2-0 to eventual champions Australia, but with Mabkhout converting from the penalty spot just before the hour mark on Friday after Khalil had earlier scored twice, the UAE secured their second-best finish in the AFC Asian Cup having previously reached the 1996 final on home soil and semi-finals in 1992.

“Ali Mabkhout performed very well in this tournament and scored many nice goals,” said UAE coach Ali following the win over Iraq.

“He deserves to be top scorer in the competition.”

Australia’s Cahill, Japan’s Keisuke Honda, Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Al Sahlawi, Korea Republic’s Son Heung-min – who scored the dramatic stoppage time equaliser in Saturday’s final – and China’s Sun Ke finished tied for fourth with three goals each.

Photo: WSG

Source : Asian Football Confederation Website

United Arab Emirates defeats Iraq and get´s a bronze medal in AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015

January 30, 2015 – 10:03PM

Josh Leeson

Perfect 10: Omar Abdulrahman (right) battles for possession with  Iraq's Yaser Kasim.

Perfect 10: Omar Abdulrahman (right) battles for possession with Iraq’s Yaser Kasim. Photo: Rick Rycroft

Omar Abdulrahman provided one final Asian Cup masterclass in Australia on Friday night as he inspired the United Arab Emirates to a 3-2 victory over Iraq in the third-place play-off at Hunter Stadium.

Battles for third place generally carry little interest, but both Middle Eastern nations provided an entertaining spectacle, while full of defensive lapses, it was punctuated by thrilling football for the crowd of 12,829.

Abdulrahman has been one of the break-out stars of the tournament and big European clubs reportedly beckon.

Without Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak chopping at his heels, arguably the Asian Cup’s leading player had more time to scheme than he enjoyed in last Tuesday’s 2-0 semi-final loss to Australia.

Two wonderful passes from the No.10 set up two of UAE’s goals. The opener in the first half came when Abdulrahman passed with the outside of his left foot to tee up striker Ahmed Khalil.

The second moment of class came when Iraq led 2-1 early in the second half.

Sensing space behind the Iraq back four, Abdulrahman chipped to find Khalil, who perfectly timed his run, and scored his second goal of the match.

It was the UAE’s first third-placing in the Asian Cup and continued their recent dominance over Iraq.

UAE won their past two meetings in the Gulf Cup of Nations, 2-0 in November during the group stage and 2-1 in the 2013 final.

In Newcastle the lead switched three times during the match.

UAE led from the 12th minute when Abdulrahman and striker Ali Mabkhout combined.

After a slick one-two Abdulrahman provided further polish by using the outside of his left foot to release Khalil, who calmly scored.

Once in the lead UAE dropped in intensity.

Lazy defence followed and it allowed Iraq defender Waleed Salim to blast home a strike which took a deflection in the 28th minute.

Iraq’s dominance was frustrating the Emiratis and Abdulrahman lashed out in the 40th minute and was lucky to escape with a yellow card.

That frustration increased a minute later when Eisa parried a shot from outside the box, only for Iraq midfielder Ahjed Kalaf to pounce and finish to give the Lions of Mesopotamia a 2-1 lead at half-time.

Iraq came out from the break brimming with confidence, but it was quickly eroded when Abdulrahman set up Khalil’s second goal.

Disaster struck for Iraq in the 55th minute when a turnover at the back forced defender Ahmed Ibrahim to pull down Mabkhout from behind inside the box.

Ibrahim was red-carded and Mabkhout converted the penalty, taking his Asian Cup goal tally to five and giving UAE a match-winning lead.


Source : The Canberra Times