Australia 3-2 Syria

Australia v Syria - AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 - 2

Al Ain: Tom Rogic’s injury time stunner earned Australia a dramatic 3-2 win over Syria and a place in the knockout stage of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 at the Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium on Tuesday.

The Celtic midfielder struck from 25 yards to finally beat a determined Syrian side, who looked set to secure a point for new coach Fajr Ebrahim and his team, and maintain their slim hopes of a place in the next phase.

But Rogic’s goal not only ensured Australia progressed to the next round in second place in Group B but also eliminated the Syrians, who finished bottom of the group after Palestine picked up a point in their meeting with Jordan.

Syria looked set to earn a draw after twice coming from behind to level, with Omar Khrbin cancelling out Awer Mabil’s opener and Omar Al Soma netting from the penalty spot after Chris Ikonomidis had put Australia back in front.

The Syrians, buoyed by the arrival of new coach Ebrahim, had the better of the opening exchanges and, with 12 minutes gone, Al Soma gave Graham Arnold’s team a fright when he headed over. Just seconds later Khrbin shot across the face of goal after a poor clearance by Mat Ryan ended up at the feet of the former AFC Player of the Year.

Australia were struggling to deal with the intensity of the Syrians and, on the half-hour mark, Embrahim’s team thought they had taken the lead when Mouaiad Al Ajaan’s free-kick from distance found its way past Ryan, only for referee Cesar Ramos to rule it out for a foul on Mark Milligan in the build-up.

That let-off gave the Australians a boost, Ikonomidis finding the hands of Ibrahim Alma with his long range attempt before the Syrian keeper twice denied Jamie Maclaren. Mabil, meanwhile, saw his effort blocked by the defence.

In the 41st minute, though, Mabil ensured the Australian pressure paid off with a perfect curling left foot strike that gave Alma no chance as the ball arced its way inside the keeper’s right post.

The lead was to last less than two minutes, however, as Al Ajaan seared down the left flank beyond Rhyan Grant and sent in a cross that Khrbin headed goalward. Ryan made the initial save, but Khrbin converted the rebound.

Nine minutes after the restart, though, Australia were back in front.

Rogic’s sweeping ball from the left slid past Hussein Al Jwayed to land at the feet of Ikonomidis, who steered his effort over the line despite a despairing dive from Omro Al Midani. The Syrian defence thought Al Midani had kept the ball from crossing the line, but referee Cesar Ramos awarded the goal to the Socceroos.

Substitute Giannou Apostolos then hit the post 15 minutes from time as the Socceroos sought to kill the game, and five minutes later Syria were level after referee Ramos pointed to the spot and Al Soma converted.

The points looked destined to be shared until Rogic intervened three minutes into added time with a superb strike, beating Alam to his left with a blistering effort from distance.

 

Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE

#AFCAsianCup2019 Australia 3-2 Syria

Australia v Syria - AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 - 2

Al Ain: Tom Rogic’s injury time stunner earned Australia a dramatic 3-2 win over Syria and a place in the knockout stage of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 at the Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium on Tuesday.

The Celtic midfielder struck from 25 yards to finally beat a determined Syrian side, who looked set to secure a point for new coach Fajr Ebrahim and his team, and maintain their slim hopes of a place in the next phase.

But Rogic’s goal not only ensured Australia progressed to the next round in second place in Group B but also eliminated the Syrians, who finished bottom of the group after Palestine picked up a point in their meeting with Jordan.

Syria looked set to earn a draw after twice coming from behind to level, with Omar Khrbin cancelling out Awer Mabil’s opener and Omar Al Soma netting from the penalty spot after Chris Ikonomidis had put Australia back in front.

The Syrians, buoyed by the arrival of new coach Ebrahim, had the better of the opening exchanges and, with 12 minutes gone, Al Soma gave Graham Arnold’s team a fright when he headed over. Just seconds later Khrbin shot across the face of goal after a poor clearance by Mat Ryan ended up at the feet of the former AFC Player of the Year.

Australia were struggling to deal with the intensity of the Syrians and, on the half-hour mark, Embrahim’s team thought they had taken the lead when Mouaiad Al Ajaan’s free-kick from distance found its way past Ryan, only for referee Cesar Ramos to rule it out for a foul on Mark Milligan in the build-up.

That let-off gave the Australians a boost, Ikonomidis finding the hands of Ibrahim Alma with his long range attempt before the Syrian keeper twice denied Jamie Maclaren. Mabil, meanwhile, saw his effort blocked by the defence.

In the 41st minute, though, Mabil ensured the Australian pressure paid off with a perfect curling left foot strike that gave Alma no chance as the ball arced its way inside the keeper’s right post.

The lead was to last less than two minutes, however, as Al Ajaan seared down the left flank beyond Rhyan Grant and sent in a cross that Khrbin headed goalward. Ryan made the initial save, but Khrbin converted the rebound.

Nine minutes after the restart, though, Australia were back in front.

Rogic’s sweeping ball from the left slid past Hussein Al Jwayed to land at the feet of Ikonomidis, who steered his effort over the line despite a despairing dive from Omro Al Midani. The Syrian defence thought Al Midani had kept the ball from crossing the line, but referee Cesar Ramos awarded the goal to the Socceroos.

Substitute Giannou Apostolos then hit the post 15 minutes from time as the Socceroos sought to kill the game, and five minutes later Syria were level after referee Ramos pointed to the spot and Al Soma converted.

The points looked destined to be shared until Rogic intervened three minutes into added time with a superb strike, beating Alam to his left with a blistering effort from distance.

 

Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE

Socceroos overcome Syria to reach AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ knockout rounds

AUS

Needing only a draw to progress from Group B, a dangerous-looking Australia secured all three points from an entertaining affair thanks to Tom Rogic’s thumping strike in the 93rd minute.

Omar Khrbin and Omar Al Soma had earlier erased goals from Awer Mabil and Chris Ikonomidis but Graham Arnold’s men maintained their composure when it mattered most to join Jordan in the next phase.

Syria settled quickly into a match tinged with nerves and might have gone ahead through Khrbin, who dragged a low effort past the far post in the 13th minute.

Jamie Maclaren, a threat throughout an action-packed first half, also passed up an opportunity to break the deadlock when he nodded wide from Rhyan Grant’s excellent cross.

The Hibernian striker then forced Ibrahim Alma into a sharp double save but the goalkeeper was given no chance by Mabil’s brilliant left-footed curler in the 41st minute, the attacker’s fourth international goal his most memorable yet.

Khrbin, though, ensured the celebrations lasted just two minutes, poking home at the second attempt after Mat Ryan parried his initial close-range header.

Arnold rallied his troops at half-time and they were back in the ascendency in the 54th minute as the influential Rogic guided a superb pass to the far post for Ikonomidis to squeeze over the line.

Apostolos Giannou replaced Maclaren with just over 20 minutes and went within inches of extending the margin, taking Mabil’s pass in his path and lashing a fine low shot into the base of the bottom-left post.

Australia were in full control until the referee awarded a penalty which Al Soma converted 10 minutes from time.

That set up a grandstand finish and, having navigated their way through the odd anxious moment, Rogic rewarded a determined display by driving the winner through a crowded penalty area.

The Socceroos’ Round of 16 opponents will be the Group F runner-up, which will be determined when Japan and Uzbekistan square off in the early hours of Friday morning.

 

Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE

‘We’re just getting started’: Ikonomidis buoyed by Socceroos display against Palestine

AUS

Chris Ikonomidis says the Graham Arnold era has lift-off after the Socceroos picked up their first win of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ by defeating Palestine in Dubai.

The Socceroos prevailed 3-0 on Friday night (AEDT) thanks to goals from Jamie Maclaren – his first for the national team – Awer Mabil and substitute Apostolos Giannou.

After the opening game loss to Jordan, there was plenty of pressure on Australia, but Ikonomidis said there was no panic in the squad leading into the Palestine clash.

“We just stuck to our tactics throughout the week. It’s a new era under Arnie and we’re really finding our feet now,” Ikonomidis told Fox Sports.

“We were a young front line out there today and it showed in our fluency up front, our diversity and interchanging positions.

“I think we’re just getting started, it’s exciting times ahead.”

Ikonomidis, who was one of three new faces in Arnold’s starting XI, was superb for Australia, setting up the goals for Mabil and Giannou with pinpoint crosses.

But he was one of a string of Socceroos who produced their best, including Maclaren.

The Hibernian frontman hadn’t scored in his first nine appearances for the Socceroos but broke his duck at the perfect time with a brilliant header to open the scoring.

“It’s been a long time coming…but I’ve just stayed on my path,” Maclaren told Fox Sports.

“I’m a goalscorer and it was going to come one way or another. Many people say I can’t head the ball but today I showed them.”

Asked if it was a relief to get that first win of the tournament, Maclaren said: “It’s not that relieving only because we knew what we had to do today, that’s win the game.

“Right from the start we scored two early goals so that really settles us. It’s a great win from the boys and a clean sheet as well helps.”

 

Source : Socceroos WEBSITE

Social Wrap: Hits and misses

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Kuala Lumpur: The clock is ticking down and teams have already started arriving for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019. The-AFC.com tours social media to bring you the best bits from the various camps.

Whether you’re banging them in at the training ground or breaking your international duck in style, goals always bring a smile to the faces of players and fans alike. Missing the target can also be fun to watch, under the right circumstances, as we find out from Qatar’s goalkeeper.

With just two goals in their last four games, the UAE will hope a new kit will bring them good luck on home soil as they look to replicate their 1996 heroics. Will they achieve their goal?

Up and running

Another player hitting the target this week was Australian winger Chris Ikonomidis. The 23-year-old opened his Socceroos account in style, hitting home on the half-volley in the 5-0 friendly victory against Oman in Dubai on Sunday.

Ikonomidis is set to appear in his first major tournament in an Australia shirt, and with a number of injuries striking Graham Arnold’s squad, he can be hopeful the UAE continues to bring him further luck in front of goal.

Source : Asian Football Confederation Website

Stats analysis: Chris Ikonomidis shines as Caltex Socceroos fire in front of goal

AUS

The Caltex Socceroos warmed up for the AFC Asian Cup with their biggest win in two and a half years on Sunday.

Five individual scorers were on target in a confident 5-0 victory over Oman as Graham Arnold’s men flexed their attacking muscles in Dubai.

Impressive passing numbers, the extension of a handy unbeaten run and a standout performance from a young attacker all added up to an encouraging final hit-out ahead of the Group B opener against Jordan on January 6.

Here, we review the best of another positive performance with the help of Opta data.

Early onslaught sets the tone

Speaking after the match, Milos Degenek revealed the side’s tactical brief was to get on the front foot and adopt a proactive attitude based around relentless pressing.

That much was evident in a dominant start that produced three goals in 24 minutes.
Andrew Nabbout, Chris Ikonomidis and Awer Mabil were all on target in the country’s most productive first half in over two years.

A one-sided opening 45 minutes also saw the Caltex Socceroos complete 154 passes in Oman’s half, the most the team has produced in over a year.

The dominance of possession was such that Trent Sainsbury (127) and fellow centre-back Degenek (124) each finished with more successful passes in 90 minutes than any Australians of the last six years.

Ikonomidis’ strong ‘Roos return

The in-form Ikonomidis earned a Caltex Socceroos recall on the back of a sparkling start to the season with Perth Glory and appears set to reap the benefits in national team colours.

The 23-year-old, already on target six times in the Hyundai A-League this term, barely put a foot out of place in his first appearance since March 2016.

His first international goal was a fine left-footed finish and came from one of six shots the attacking midfielder attempted, all from inside the box.

No other player on the pitch registered more than two shots in total.

Ikonomidis also delivered a game-high seven crosses and it was from his low corner that defender Degenek was able to get on the scoresheet.

It seems the former Lazio flyer is feeling more at home in green and gold than ever before.

Firing in friendlies

This was Australia’s largest ever triumph against Oman and the Middle East nation’s heaviest defeat since a 7-0 loss to Slovenia in February 1999.

The comprehensive success meant the Caltex Socceroos, 3-0 winners against Lebanon last time out, celebrated back-to-back victories for the first time since June.

The team boasts an imposing record across their past seven friendlies, winning five and drawing two.

Three of those victories have come under Arnold, whose move to instil a fluid, high-intensity attacking style has been rewarded with 13 goals in four games.

Now, following their biggest win since a 7-0 defeat of Tajikistan in March 2016, the Caltex Socceroos will seek to translate excellent friendly form into significant results at the AFC Asian Cup™.

 

Source : Socceroos Website