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AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019's thrilling openers

Dubai: Hosts United Arab Emirates in Group A will open Asia’s most prestigious competition in a thrilling encounter against Bahrain on Saturday, January 5, 2019 at 8:00pm UAE time, at the Zayed Sports City Stadium, one of three competition venues in Abu Dhabi.

The Al Nahyan Stadium will host its first match in style when Thailand take on India in Group A on Sunday, January 6, 2019 at 5:30pm UAE time. The third stadium in Abu Dhabi - Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium – will take centre-stage on Monday, January 7, 2019 at 8:00pm with Asia’s top ranked side Islamic Republic of Iran taking on Yemen in Group D’s opening match.

Australia’s title defence opener against Jordan will be the first Group B match in Al Ain at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on January 6, 2019 at 3:00pm and the city’s second stadium - Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium - will host its first match between China PR and Asian Cup debutants Kyrgyz Republic in Group C on January 7, 2019 at 3:00pm.

Sharjah Stadium, the sole venue in the Emirate of Sharjah, will welcome the competition when Syria take on Palestine in Group B on January 6, 2019 at 8:00pm.

Dubai’s Rashid Stadium will be the stage for the Group E opener between Saudi Arabia and DPR Korea on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 8:00pm with Korea Republic and the Philippines opening their Group C campaign at the Al Maktoum Stadium on Monday, January 7, 2019 at 5:30pm.

The ultimate champions of Asia will be crowned on Friday, February 1, 2019 at 6pm UAE time at the Zayed Sports City Stadium.

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Who plays the opening match?

The opening game of Asian football's Premier Competition will be contested by hosts the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in a Group A clash.

When does it take place?

The match will be held on Friday January 5, 2019, kicking off at 8.00pm UAE time (+4 GMT).

Where is it being played?

Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi will stage the opening match. It is the largest stadium in the UAE with 43,000 seats.

When will tickets go on sale?

The announcement on ticket sales and competition packages will be made soon on

What can I expect on will provide regular updates as we build up towards the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019. We will also provide all the best coverage on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


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