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

Giannou: Penalty preparation key in Socceroos dramatic shootout triumph #AFCAsianCup2019

AUS

Striker Apostolos Giannou says the preparation the Socceroos did on penalties heading into the Round of 16 clash against Uzbekistan was key in their victory.

Australia moved into the Quarter Finals of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ after seeing off the Uzbeks 4-2 in the shootout on Tuesday morning (AEDT).

With tournament football always throwing up difficult matches, there is always the possibility games will be decided on penalties, and the Socceroos were ready.

“We had it in the back of our heads just in case it got to the point [of a shootout],” Giannou revealed to www.socceroos.com.au.

“So, the last couple of training sessions we actually worked on it and we were ready for the penalty shootout.”

He added on keeper Maty Ryan, who made two stunning saves in the shootout: “He’s incredible. He’s an amazing player, amazing keeper, and he’s probably the reason we are in the last eight.

“He plays a big role, he stepped up when he needed to step up and we thank him for that.”

Giannou, who came off the bench for Australia in the second half, was also a key contributor in the shootout.

He took the Socceroos’ third penalty attempt, blasting home his spot-kick with confidence.

“It’s not an easy place to be at but I’m very happy that I scored and I’m very happy the team progressed to the quarter finals,” the AEK Larnaca striker said.

“It was a big night, but we need to recover and refresh for the next game.”

And that next fixture for Graham Arnold’s men is a Quarter Final against the tournament hosts United Arab Emirates.

Saturday morning’s clash (AEDT) – at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium – means the Socceroos will avoid travel, remaining at their current base in Al Ain.

“It’s a good thing that we’re staying here,” Giannou admitted.

“We are used to the environment and all we can do is get ourselves ready for [UAE], get our recovery in and start focusing on the next game.”

 

Source : Socceroos WEBSITE

Apostolo Giannou delighted to deliver in promising Socceroos cameo

AUS

He might remember little of the moment but Apostolos Giannou was still able to soak up the “amazing” feeling of his maiden AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ goal.

The Cyprus-based striker needed just eight minutes off the bench in Dubai to round out the Socceroos’ valuable 3-0 win over Palestine on Friday.

Giannou timed his leap well to nod in Chris Ikonomidis’ superb cross in the final minute of normal time, putting the seal on a result that lifted Australia to second in Group B.

Called into the squad as a late replacement for the injured Martin Boyle, the rangy Giannou brings a unique skillset to Graham Arnold’s attacking options and was pleased to showcase his ability.

“It felt amazing [to score],” the 28-year-old said.

“I don’t remember much! I just remember the ball going in the back of the net and after that just celebrating.

“It was great to get some time on the park and I’m very happy I made an impact. I really wanted to get some minutes on the field.

“I was hoping to prove myself and make an impact and thanks to Chris’ ball – that helped me a lot – I scored.”

Giannou was among the players who got straight back into training on the team’s return to Al Ain as attention switched immediately to the upcoming date with Syria.

“Everyone was very happy with the performance [against Palestine], with the win and that everything we had been working on came off,” the centre-forward said.

“Now we just look forward to the next game, concentrating on that. It’s a very important game for us.

“We want to perform, we want to score a lot of goals, and we want to win so we can be in the next round.”

Australia, currently second in Group B, have a two-point lead on both Syria and fourth-placed Palestine ahead of the final round of group fixtures.

 

Source : Socceroos 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

‘I am really happy to be here’: Giannou delighted to be part of Socceroos’ AFC Asian Cup campaign

AUS

It may just be the best ‘Happy New Year’ message that Apostolos Giannou ever gets.

The 28-year-old forward was relaxing at home in the early hours of the morning on January 1 when he received an unexpected call from Caltex Socceroos coach Graham Arnold.

Soon afterwards, the Melbourne-bred player was packing his bags and heading to the airport to make his way to the Middle East for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™, replacing the injured Martin Boyle in Arnold’s squad.

“I’m really happy to be here – it was a really nice start to the year for me,” said Giannou after arriving at the Socceroos’ training base at Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates.

“The first of the year I got the call-up and I’m really happy and looking forward to being back with the boys and giving everything I have to help the team.

Giannou scores his first international goal for Australia, against Kuwait in October 2018

“Whenever I am needed I am there, and the boss knows that I am just happy he chose me.

“I know how Arnie wants to play, I know the style of play the team has been playing the last few months, and I’m ready.

“Everyone’s positive. There’s a good group of players here, we’re just focused on the next game and to be ready for Sunday.”

The Caltex Socceroos commence their AFC Asian Cup campaign against Jordan on Sunday, 6 January at 10.00pm (AEDT) and Giannou, who has scored three goals in 12 Europa League games (including qualifiers) for his Cypriot club side AEK Larnaca this season, is relishing the challenge ahead.

“We know Jordan has strengths, but the main focus has been on us – on how we’re going to play and on making the most of our chances,” he said.

“I feel good. I’ve been doing well and I’m ready whenever I’m needed to help the team achieve the goals it has set out.”

Source : Socceroos Website

‘I am really happy to be here’: Giannou delighted to be part of Socceroos’ AFC Asian Cup campaign

AUS

It may just be the best ‘Happy New Year’ message that Apostolos Giannou ever gets.

The 28-year-old forward was relaxing at home in the early hours of the morning on January 1 when he received an unexpected call from Caltex Socceroos coach Graham Arnold.

Soon afterwards, the Melbourne-bred player was packing his bags and heading to the airport to make his way to the Middle East for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™, replacing the injured Martin Boyle in Arnold’s squad.

“I’m really happy to be here – it was a really nice start to the year for me,” said Giannou after arriving at the Socceroos’ training base at Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates.

“The first of the year I got the call-up and I’m really happy and looking forward to being back with the boys and giving everything I have to help the team.

Giannou scores his first international goal for Australia, against Kuwait in October 2018

“Whenever I am needed I am there, and the boss knows that I am just happy he chose me.

“I know how Arnie wants to play, I know the style of play the team has been playing the last few months, and I’m ready.

“Everyone’s positive. There’s a good group of players here, we’re just focused on the next game and to be ready for Sunday.”

The Caltex Socceroos commence their AFC Asian Cup campaign against Jordan on Sunday, 6 January at 10.00pm (AEDT) and Giannou, who has scored three goals in 12 Europa League games (including qualifiers) for his Cypriot club side AEK Larnaca this season, is relishing the challenge ahead.

“We know Jordan has strengths, but the main focus has been on us – on how we’re going to play and on making the most of our chances,” he said.

“I feel good. I’ve been doing well and I’m ready whenever I’m needed to help the team achieve the goals it has set out.”

 

Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation Website