Preview - Quarter-final: Arnold in no rush to name Australia lineup
Al Ain: Graham Arnold will wait until the morning of his side’s meeting with the United Arab Emirates before deciding on his starting lineup as defending champions Australia set their sights on a place in the semi-finals of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 on Friday.
Arnold will break from his usual practice of informing his players ahead of their final training session to give himself and his coaching staff more time to make an assessment of his team in the aftermath of their penalty shootout win over Uzbekistan in the Round of 16.
The Central Asian side pushed the Socceroos to the limits in their meeting in Al Ain on Monday, with goalkeeper Maty Ryan emerging as the hero for Australia as the country progressed to the quarter-finals for the third tournament in a row.
Preview - Quarter-final: UAE to maintain attacking approach
Al Ain: Alberto Zaccheroni has stressed he will not alter his team’s style of play when the AFC Asian Cup hosts the United Arab Emirates take on defending champions Australia in their quarter-final match-up in Al Ain on Friday.
The Italian admitted to having concerns over his side’s defensive performance, with the UAE having conceded four times in four games so far at the tournament, but he is refusing to consider adopting similar tactics deployed by Jordan and Uzbekistan in their respective meetings with the Socceroos.
Jordan defeated the Australians 1-0 in the teams’ opening game of the group phase while Uzbekistan frustrated Graham Arnold’s side throughout 120 minutes of their goalless draw in the Round of 16, which Australia eventually won via a penalty shootout.
Al Ain: Maty Ryan declared himself “happy” to have played a key role in ensuring Australia advanced to the quarter-finals of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 after his heroics between the posts gave the defending champions a 4-2 penalty shootout win over Uzbekistan.
Ryan denied Islom Tukhtakhujaev and Dostonbek Khamdamov in the shootout after the game had gone through 120 minutes without a goal to set up a last eight meeting with hosts the United Arab Emirates.
“I was happy to be able to contribute to the team,” said the Brighton & Hove Albion keeper.
“That situation for a goalkeeper is a very important one and if you can contribute to the team and help them get through and be the winning team at the end that’s the objective and thankfully tonight, I was able to make that contribution. “
Al Ain: Graham Arnold paid tribute to goalkeeper Maty Ryan after the Brighton & Hove Albion shot-stopper earned the defending champions a place in the quarter-finals of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 with a pair of penalty saves in their shootout win over Uzbekistan on Monday evening.
Ryan kept out spot-kicks from Islom Tukhtakhujaev and Dostonbek Khamdamov as Australia won the shootout 4-2 following a goalless draw at Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium to set up a last eight meeting with hosts the United Arab Emirates.
Arnold was quick to praise the 26-year-old, who was instrumental in Australia’s title win on home soil four years ago and is proving to be just as vital to his team’s hopes at the current tournament.
Round of 16: Australia 0-0 Uzbekistan (AET, Australia win 4-2 on penalties)
Al Ain: Maty Ryan was the hero for Australia as the defending champions edged through to the quarter-finals of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 on Monday evening with a 4-2 win over Uzbekistan in a penalty shootout.
Ryan kept out spot-kicks from Islom Tukhtakhujaev and Dostonbek Khamdamov to leave Mathew Leckie to score the winning penalty that took Graham Arnold’s side into the next round of the competition.
Neither side had been able to find the back of the net during the previous 120 minutes, leaving Ryan to provide the heroics for his team, who now face the United Arab Emirates - who defeated Kyrgyz Republic 3-2 in their last 16 tie - in the next round.
Al Ain: Host nation the United Arab Emirates have been dealt a blow with news that defender Khalifa Mubarak will miss the rest of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 after fracturing his leg in Monday’s 3-2 win over Kyrgyz Republic.
The 25-year-old Al Nasr favourite suffered the injury trying to clear a Mirlan Murzaev shot during the Round of 16 encounter which was eventually settled by an Ahmed Khalil penalty in extra-time.
Mubarak, who is already receiving medical attention in Germany, will now be missing for the UAE when they face Australia in the quarter-finals on Friday.
Khalil eager to focus on the positives as Australia loom large
Abu Dhabi: Matchwinner Ahmed Khalil has declared that the United Arab Emirates should put aside Monday’s struggles against Kyrgyz Republic and focus on the positives after a 3-2 extra-time win sent the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 hosts through to the quarter-finals.
Khalil came off the bench to seal the win by converting a penalty in the 103rd minute of an absorbing encounter, the second time he has rescued his side following the 27-year-old’s successful spot-kick in the final moments of the UAE’s 1-1 draw with Bahrain on Matchday One.
The victory helped set up an intriguing quarter-final tie with Australia, with Khalil eager to reflect on the importance of the UAE’s hard-fought victory against tournament debutants Kyrgyz Republic.