Karbala: A solitary goal from Isa Moosa Ali helped Bahrain to their first WAFF Championship title, beating tournament hosts Iraq 1-0 in the final at Karbala Sports City on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old struck shortly before half-time to silence the capacity crowd, before Bahrain held on to become the competition’s sixth winners since it was held for the first time in 2000.
Bahrain’s win caps a spectacular start to life at the helm for Portuguese head coach Hélio Sousa, who emerges from his first tournament in charge of the side with a regional title and four consecutive clean sheets.
Karbala: Iraq boss Srečko Katanec has rejected suggestions his side underperformed in Thursday’s WAFF Championship draw with Syria, saying he is satisfied with their build-up to the forthcoming Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023.
Unbeaten as hosts of the West Asian tournament, Iraq had the opportunity to seal their place in the final with a game in hand, but couldn’t find a way past winless Syria in a goalless stalemate at Karbala Sports City.
While Iraq remain favourites to win the WAFF title on home soil, Katanec believes preparing for the Asian Qualifiers against Islamic Republic of Iran, Bahrain, Hong Kong and Cambodia is a far more pressing concern.
Beijing: The age of 30 is a pivotal year for the Chinese. It’s a period during which a man should "establish his firm place in the world" as Confucius defined.
That words of wisdom rings true for China PR midfielder Wu Xi, who has recently hit the headlines due to his solid performances.
The dynamic midfielder, who turned 30 in February, has been on top of his game for both club and country. Wu has excelled so far in his captaincy role with Jiangsu Suning, as his club are maintaining their place among the top six in the Chinese Super League.
While at international level, he was instrumental throughout China’s AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 campaign where they were ultimately knocked out at the quarter-final stage.
Ibrahim looking to deepen Syria’s pool ahead of Asian Qualifiers
Karbala: Fajr Ibrahim wants results at the 2019 WAFF Championship, but the Syrian head coach is also using the tournament as an audition process for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Asian Qualifiers.
Having gone closer than ever to reaching the 2018 FIFA World Cup Finals in Russia, Syria have cause to be optimistic about reaching Qatar, despite a largely disappointing run of results in 2019.
While star Saudi-based attacking duo Omar Al Soma and Omar Khribin were instrumental in the previous campaign, Ibrahim is using the 2019 WAFF Championship to give a number of fringe and home-based players the chance to press their case for selection.
Erbil: Kuwaiti stalwart Bader Al Mutawa hopes his side’s 2019 WAFF Championship campaign will be the first step on the road back to the top table of Asian football, after they began their campaign with a 2-1 win against Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
Romeo Jozak’s side made what most would consider a dream start to life in Erbil, recovering from the concession of an early Rabee Sufyani goal to beat a youthful Saudi side, with Faisal Ajab emerging as the matchwinner.
The win was Kuwait’s first against a national team in 2019, and first outside of their homeland since 2015 after they spent nearly two years out of the international game.
Renard targets teamwork and success for Saudi Arabia
Jeddah: Newly appointed head coach Hervé Renard has declared that a sense of unity will be key if Saudi Arabia are to have a successful future.
The Frenchman joined the Green Falcons ahead of their imminent FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Asian Qualifiers campaign, which begins in early September.
Renard - who became the first coach in history to win the Africa Cup of Nations title with two different nations when he led Zambia to glory in 2012 and succeeded again with Côte d’Ivoire three years later – was appointed following his resignation as Morocco national team head coach last month.
Kuala Lumpur: With their challengers all ranked higher than them, Guam are counting on home ground advantage to make a mark in the Asian Qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.
Guam are in Group A of the Asian Qualifiers with China PR, Maldives, Philippines and Syria the teams they have to face.
It will be a tough challenge as Guam, at 198, are the lowest ranked team in the group.