Abu Dhabi: With the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 dominating the football agenda, the tournament continues to excite millions across the Continent and beyond, with some captivating moments and milestones as the group stage matches drew to a close on Thursday.
The 36 matches over the last 13 days saw their fair share of drama and upsets, producing a total of 96 goals - which is an average of 2.67 per match, surpassing the 2015 edition that saw an average of 2.54 goals over 24 matches in Australia.
One of the tournament’s biggest highlights has been its expanded format from 16 to 24 teams, which sees the introduction of the competition’s first-ever Round of 16 stage – a decision that has reaped its rewards – with the Continent’s emerging nations showing their ability to stand proud alongside the traditional powerhouses.
Abu Dhabi: After 36 matches, and no shortage of drama, the qualifiers for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 knockout stage have been finalised.
The line-up was confirmed on Thursday, when Oman and Vietnam claimed the Round of 16's two remaining places, setting the scene for what promises to be an unforgettable climax to the largest ever edition of the competition.
A Degree of Success: University students come together for UAE 2019
Abu Dhabi: University students enjoyed a first-class experience in a day dedicated to the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, with pupils from 37 different countries coming together to witness all the drama and excitement of Asia’s crown jewel.
With the captivating action on the pitch, universities in the UAE have committed to the Continental showpiece by bringing diverse groups of students together, using the power of football to unite and engage, giving students an opportunity to attend matches.
Four dedicated University Days will be taking place across each host city, with hundreds of students kicking-off the programme in Abu Dhabi when they attended Thursday’s epic contest between Korea Republic and China PR, which saw the Taeguk Warriors seal a 2-0 victory at the Al Nahyan Stadium.
AFC's VAR decision correct, says Pierluigi Collina
Abu Dhabi: When legendary Italian match official Pierluigi Collina speaks about refereeing, everyone has to listen.
Collina was in capital of the United Arab Emirates during the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 group stage as part of the preparation for the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system from the competition's quarter-finals - a decision he feels is correct.
"It is a wise decision as far as I am concerned to introduce VAR at the quarter-final stage because this is line with the pool of qualified referees that are available. The referees need to have the VAR license from IFAB (International Football Association Board)," said Collina in an interview with local media.
Filipino dance act brings a taste of the Philippines to UAE 2019 fan zone
Abu Dhabi: Football fans from across Asia were delighted to find themselves witnessing an amazing Filipino dance act at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 fan zone on Tuesday as the cross-cultural activities and entertainment continue in support of the tournament’s theme “Bringing Asia Together”.
Boasting one of the largest non-Emirati communities in the UAE, over 20 Filipinos from Bayanihan Council, came together to perform a variety of traditional and ancient dances, which filled the fan zone in Abu Dhabi with energy, exuberance and colour as the tournament played out on giant screens in the background.
Football enthusiasts to play for their countries in community tournament
Abu Dhabi: With the AFC Asian Cup fever gripping the whole of the UAE, fans will get to enjoy an additional day of action on the field as hundreds of amateurs compete in the final of the Asian Community Cup.
Teams answered the call to represent their countries at the end of 2018, as the popular tournament now reaches its climax this weekend at Zayed Sports City, where one team will be crowned community champions of Asia.
Narrowed down from over 70 teams, the final 24 sides will battle it out in Abu Dhabi to win the seven-a-side tournament, which will see the winners receive special privileged access to the highly-anticipated AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 final on February 1.
AFC shatters digital records set in Australia after just one week
Abu Dhabi: The AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 has already overtaken the digital records set in the last edition in Australia - after just one week of the current tournament.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has a reach now of 122 million for this tournament, which continues to rise every day with more and more engaging with the biggest-ever Asian Cup through the official AFC social platforms.
The AFC Asian Cup Facebook (fb.com/theafcasiancup) page has seen almost 40 million people engaged while the official Instagram account (instagram.com/afcasiancup) has clocked up more than 49 million impressions on the collection of stunning images from the competition.
Video highlights are also capturing attention with more than 7.9 million views on YouTube, watching a total of 14.1 million minutes of content – and a further 1.5 million Arabic viewers have tuned in through the AFC Arabic official Twitter account (twitter.com/afcasiancup_ar).