Abu Dhabi: The Continent’s top teams went head-to-head in friendly matches as preparations for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 intensified with Asia’s biggest and most anticipated football competition starting in four days.
As the countdown begins before the curtains are raised at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, the 24 teams are putting in the finishing touches in their bid for Asia’s ultimate prize.
Qatar have been the busiest team in recent weeks and have showed great ambitions in lifting their first-ever AFC Asian Cup with a convincing 2-0 victory over Jordan and a 1-0 win over AFC Asian Cup debutants Kyrgyz Republic.
However, the West Asian side’s undefeated streak since their win over Switzerland in November came to an end with double losses against Algeria 1-0 and three-time AFC Asian Cup champions Islamic Republic of Iran 2-1.
Abu Dhabi: On a busy night for AFC Asian Cup aspirants, Islamic Republic of Iran, Vietnam and Kyrgyz Republic scored morale boosting wins in international friendlies while Saudi Arabia and Korea Republic settled for a goalless draw on Monday.
Iran, seeking a third AFC Asian Cup title, defeated in-form Qatar 2-1, Vietnam overcame the Philippines 4-2 while Kyrgyz Republic beat Palestine 2-1.
Kuala Lumpur: Defending champions Australia outclassed Oman 5-0 while Syria edged Yemen 1-0 in international friendlies on Sunday, ahead of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
Australia 5-0 Oman
Dubai: Australia were in superb form at the Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai.
The Socceroos had suffered several setbacks in their preparation for their UAE 2019 challenge with Daniel Arzani and Aaron Mooy missing out due to injuries, but their dominance over Oman began as early as the 10th minute with Andrew Nabbout opening the scoring.
Isa Town: Bahrain's buildup to the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 received another boost as they defeated DPR Korea 4-0 in an international friendly at the Khalifa Sports City Stadium on Saturday.
Bahrain, who will play hosts UAE in the opening match of the Continental showpiece on January 5, took the lead through Mohammed Al Romaihi in the ninth minute.
Ahmad Jumaa doubled Bahrain's advantage in the 35th minute.
Jamal Rashed added the third for Bahrain, who defeated Lebanon 1-0 in a friendly on December 26, in the 65th minute before Kameel Al Aswad sealed an emphatic win for Miroslav Soukup's side just a minute later.
Iraq win as China PR, Jordan settle for draw while UAE suffer defeat
Kuala Lumpur: United Arab Emirates suffered a setback in their preparations for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup after losing 2-0 to Kuwait in an international friendly, while China PR and Jordan played to a 1-1 draw and Iraq scored a 1-0 win over Palestine on Friday.
UAE 0-2 KUWAIT
Dubai: UAE, preparing to host the AFC Asian Cup 2019, fell to a surprise 2-0 to Kuwait.
Kuwait claimed victory through Bader Al Mutawa and Omar Beitar's goals in the 45th and 86th minutes respectively.