Former Australia captain Mark Milligan announces retirement
Sydney: Australian AFC Asian Cup winner and four-time FIFA World Cup finalist Mark Milligan has announced he will retire at the end of the current A-League season.
The 35-year-old, who is currently playing for Macarthur FC, will hang up his boots at the end of the side’s involvement in the A-League Finals next month to join the coaching staff at the recently established club.
Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 will conclude on June 15 after having been halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most teams will be playing competitive matches for the first time since November, 2019 and the action promises to be spectacular with much at stake, with Japan having already sealed a place in the next round of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and having confirmed their ticket to the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Finals.
Join the-AFC.com as we take a look at the facts and figures ahead of the eights groups resuming on Thursday.
Asian Qualifiers - Group B Preview: Opportunity knocks for new-look Australia against Kuwait, Nepal, Chinese Taipei seek lift
Kuwait City: For the first time since November 2019, Group B of the Asian Qualifiers will return to action as the race to qualify for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 resumes in Kuwait on Thursday.
Group leaders Australia will face their nearest challengers Kuwait in the pick on the Matchday Seven action, while Nepal will face winless Chinese Taipei.
Asian Qualifiers - Group C Preview: IR Iran seek winning return against Hong Kong, Bahrain target three points in face-off with Cambodia
Muharraq: Islamic Republic will be hoping to return to winning ways when they face Hong Kong in Group C of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 on Thursday, while Bahrain will be confident of bagging full points against Cambodia.
Bahrain are second in the standings on nine points, two adrift of leaders Iraq, while Iran are third with six points with a match in hand.
Hong Kong are on five points while Cambodia only have one point to their name after five matches.
Asian Qualifiers - Group D Preview: Singapore target second place against Palestine, Saudi Arabia out to widen lead
Riyadh: Singapore will be chasing second place in Group D of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 when they face Palestine as the action resumes in Saudi Arabia on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia will look to cement their place at the top of the group with a victory over Yemen on Saturday.
Asian Qualifiers - Group E Preview: India set for Qatar test, victory crucial for Afghanistan, Bangladesh
Doha: India will brace themselves for a stiff test against Qatar when the two teams square off in Group E of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 on Thursday.
Afghanistan, meanwhile, will be determined to bolster their hopes of earning an automatic spot in the third round of qualifying for the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 when they play Bangladesh.
Asian Qualifiers - Group G Preview: Malaysia, Thailand eye top spot as UAE, Indonesia await
Dubai: Thailand and Malaysia have a chance to move top of Group G of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 with wins on Thursday as they face Indonesia and the UAE respectively.
Vietnam lead the group heading into the restart, but Malaysia or Thailand could be at the summit come the end of the day, while the host nation, having played a game less, can close the gap with a win.