Al Ain: Mathew Leckie will be available for the first time at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 after Socceroos coach Graham Arnold confirmed the Hertha Berlin winger will start Monday’s Round of 16 meeting with Uzbekistan on the bench.
Leckie, a key member of the Australia team that won the AFC Asian Cup on home soil in 2015, has yet to feature for Arnold’s team at the tournament after joining up with the squad carrying a hamstring injury.
But the Socceroos’ head coach confirmed the 27-year-old would be available for selection in a squad that also welcomes back Josh Risdon from injury and Trent Sainsbury, who was suspended for the win over Syria.
Al Ain: Defending champions Australia endured a tough time in the group phase of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, but goalkeeper Maty Ryan believes the challenges faced against Jordan, Palestine and Syria have only served to make the Socceroos stronger.
Graham Arnold’s side lost their opening game against the Jordanians before bouncing back to defeat Palestine and then had a late Tom Rogic strike to thank for seeing off Syria to finish second in Group B and book their meeting with Uzbekistan in the Round of 16.
And the Brighton & Hove Albion custodian stresses the opening three games have been a learning experience for him and his teammates as they seek to defend the title won on home soil four years ago.
Qatar’s Almoez Ali closing in on goalscoring record
Abu Dhabi: With excitement building ahead of his country’s Round of 16 encounter with Iraq, Qatar hotshot Almoez Ali is on the verge of writing himself into the competition’s history books thanks to the striker’s impressive goalscoring exploits at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
Ali, who claimed the top scorer award at the AFC U23 Championship in 2018, has been in sensational form throughout the tournament, netting seven times in three matches – including a four-goal haul against DPR Korea – as Qatar claimed top spot in Group E en route to the knockout phase.
With at least one more game still to come, the 22-year-old Al Duhail SC forward’s impressive tally has seen him move to within one strike of the record haul by a player at Asia’s premier event, one which was set by Islamic Republic of Iran legend Ali Daei when he scored eight at the 1996 edition, also in the United Arab Emirates.
Extra-time and penalties on standby in knockout phase
Abu Dhabi: Extra-time and penalties, as well as the potential use of one additional substitute, loom large for teams as they head into the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019's knockout phase.
With the Round of 16 fixtures due to get underway on Sunday, tournament regulations state: If no winner is determined at the end of 90 minutes, extra-time comprising two fifteen-minute periods shall be played at the end of normal playing time during the knockout stage.
The regulations go on to say, and in a first for the AFC Asian Cup, that one additional substitute may be used when a match goes into extra-time (whether or not the team has already used full number of permitted substitutes).
Abu Dhabi: After an exciting group stage of the biggest ever edition of the AFC Asian Cup, we look back at some of the best goals of UAE 2019 so far, and ask you to pick your favourite in our poll at the end.
In the 36 matches played in the group stages of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, we have seen 96 goals scored - 2.67 per match - and some of them truly memorable strikes. Here are our selected 10 for you to review and judge which is your best.
Abu Dhabi: After the history-making moments, superhuman individual performances and unforgettable drama of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 group stage, the race for the Continental crown has been whittled down to 16 teams.
With the opening phase of the competition now complete, the-AFC.com looks at some of the statistical leaders, and numerical highlights of the AFC Asian Cup's opening two weeks.