Spotlight on the classic games at UAE 2019
Kuala Lumpur: With excitement levels reaching an all-time high at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Final Draw on Friday, the AFC and the Higher LOC have announced today the official match schedule for the biggest-ever AFC Asian Cup. Join the-AFC.com as we look at the key battles and intriguing encounters on offer.
Asia’s 24 top teams will compete for the coveted Continental prize from January 5 to February 1 in 2019 and as part of efforts to better engage and excite Asia’s passionate fans, the match schedule has been established taking into consideration the time zones across the five AFC regions.
It means the majority of matches involving teams in the East and ASEAN zones are scheduled to commence at 3:00pm and 5:30pm, ahead of the last 8:00pm Group Stage kick-off.
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Australia vs Syria:
The captivating encounter between the two sides received worldwide attention during the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Play-Off with the Socceroos ending the Qasioun Eagles’ fairytale journey with a narrow 3-2 aggregate victory over the two legs in October 2017.
Syria will now relish the opportunity to make amends against the defending champions when the two sides get reacquainted in their final Group B match on Tuesday, January 15, 5:30pm, at the Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain.
Islamic Republic of Iran vs Iraq:
Three-time winners IR Iran and 2007 champions Iraq will renew their rivalry in Group D in a repeat of arguably the most exciting tie in Australia 2015, when both sides battled to a thrilling 3-3 draw in the quarter-finals in Canberra.
The two sides will go head-to-head in their final Group D match in what promises to be another giant clash at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai on Wednesday, January 16 at 8:00pm.
Korea Republic vs China PR:
Having featured in eight Finals of the 16 editions, both teams will arrive in the UAE amongst the favourites to lift the coveted prize on February 1, 2019.
Yet both teams will have a point to prove with Korea Republic’s last title victory dating back in 1960 and China PR still on the hunt for their elusive maiden crown. Both sides will battle in their final Group C match on Wednesday, 16 January in Abu Dhabi’s Al Nahyan Stadium at 5.30pm.
UAE vs India:
Though not traditional rivals, the tournament’s focus will shift to the Zayed Sports Stadium on Thursday, January 10 at 8:00pm as a capacity crowd is expected to witness the contest between the home side and India with the South Asian region’s sole representative enjoying one of the biggest expat communities in the UAE.
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