Osaka: Several of the Continent's top teams took their next step towards the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 with friendly matches on a busy night of action on Tuesday.
Japan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates all scored wins while Korea Republic earned a commendable draw against South American giants Chile.
Japan gave Costa Rica the runaround in a 3-0 home victory as Hajime Moriyasu got off to a winning start as head coach of the Blue Samurai.
Sho Sasaki's header was turned into his own goal by Bryan Oviedo after 16 minutes before second-half goals from Takumi Minamino and substitute Junya Ito settled a one-sided friendly in Osaka as four-time champions Japan kicked off their preparations for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
Riffa: China PR may have concluded their two-match playing tour of West Asia without a win but head coach Marcello Lippi said the lessons learnt will be put to good use ahead of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
China PR followed up last Friday's 1-0 defeat to Qatar in Doha with a 0-0 result against Bahrain in Riffa on Monday but Lippi wasn't overly concerned that the tour ended without a win for his team.
"We have to learn from the experience and shortcomings from this trip to West Asia. What is important is that we put these lessons to good use," said Lippi after the match against Bahrain.
Krestinin can feel the belief growing ahead of UAE 2019
Bishkek: Kyrgyz Republic's 2-1 win over Syria will instil confidence ahead of their inaugural AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 campaign, according to head coach Aleksandr Krestinin.
Goals to Kairat Zhyrgalbek uluu and Bekzhan Sagynbaev helped the Central Asians to a memorable win, and one which bodes well for upcoming meetings with Korea Republic, China PR and Philippines in the UAE.
Krestinin, who has overseen the side's successful qualification campaign and a record rise in the FIFA Rankings, says his players are growing in belief.
Football enthusiasts can 'play for their country' in community tournament
Abu Dhabi: The Local Organising Committee for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 are calling on all amateur footballers to play for the pride of their countries in a prestigious once-in-a-lifetime community tournament that will replicate the 24-nation AFC Asian Cup tournament in January.
Football fans are invited to get involved, ahead of the largest sporting event ever hosted in the Middle East, by signing up for the fun-filled seven-a-side tournament which offers players the added prestige of representing one of the 24 competing Asian nations.
With the tournament mirroring the group stage and knockout format of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, football fans will come together throughout the country, as they battle to be crowned champions of the Asian Community Cup. Registration is now open to everybody aged 18 and older.
Amman: The Jordan Football Association has appointed former Belgian international Vital Borkelmans as head coach for the national team.
Borkelmans, who was a steely defender in his playing days, replaces Lamal Abu Abed and is tasked with preparing Jordan for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 on January 1-February 5.
The JFA said in a statement: "We thank Lamal Abu Abed for his efforts in the previous months, but we the FA made this decision for the interest of the national team at this period of preparations for Asian Cup 2019 in UAE."
Team Bus Slogan Contest:
Be part of Asian football history
Kuala Lumpur: With 120 days to go to Asia’s biggest and most prestigious football tournament, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is giving football fans the opportunity to celebrate and showcase their passion for their teams with the launch of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Team Bus Slogan contest.
From now until September 30th, 2018, football fans can submit their slogan proposals for their favourite teams via the AFC’s social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, in the first phase of the contest, with the ultimate winners receiving an autographed national team jersey.
And the ultimate accolade will see the 24 winners have their slogans painted on the official team buses, which will be broadcast across the world and will ferry some of Asian football’s biggest names between the eight stadiums across the four cities, from January 5 to February 1, 2019.
Palestine's teen idol Dabbagh a step closer to UAE 2019
Bishkek: With less than four months remaining until the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, the emergence of a talented teenager is providing cause for optimism for fans of Palestine.
While Korea Republic's Lee Seung-woo and Australia's Daniel Arzani are among the young Asian stars to make headlines in 2018, Palestine look to have unearthed a gem of their own in 19-year-old Oday Dabbagh.
The youngster, who plays club football for West Bank Premier League champions Hilal Al-Quds, rounded out an impressive overall performance with his first senior international goal in Thursday's 1-1 friendly draw with Kyrgyz Republic, putting his name firmly in the selection frame for January's Finals.