Qatar 2022: Saudi Arabia stun Argentina in thrilling campaign
Kuala Lumpur: As the curtains came down on the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Saudi Arabia would have smiled even though they missed out on a place in the knockout stage.
Lionel Messi may have hoisted the trophy but history will show that Saudi Arabia not only were the last team to beat Argentina before they emerged champions for a third time but were also the side to end the South American side's 36-match unbeaten run heading into Qatar 2022.
The-AFC.com relives Saudi Arabia's thrilling adventure.
Kuala Lumpur: The curtains came down on the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 on Sunday with Argentina lifting the trophy for a third time after a thrilling win over France at the Lusail Stadium.
In masterminding Argentina's triumph, Lionel Messi ensured his trophy cabinet now has the one title that he really craved.
While Messi and Argentina bask in glory, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 also saw Asia's cast making their impact felt in the global showpiece. The-AFC.com revisits the Asian performance, starting with Australia.
Doha: The 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup will be remembered as one of the finest as Qatar hosted a spectacular festival of football that produced classic matches, incredible upsets, late drama and, in the end, saw Lionel Messi finally get his hands on the prize he craved most.
For the Asian Football Confederation, meanwhile, it was collectively a best-ever campaign as the six sides from the continent posted some of the greatest results in their history as they broke new ground on the world stage.
With the sun now set on Qatar 2022, the-AFC.com highlights some of the stats and facts that caught the eye with Asia’s six representatives.
Doha: The dust is settling on an exceptional FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and Asia can look back at the tournament with much pride as teams from the continent produced some of the most stunning results in their history.
Four years ago at Russia 2018, Asia recorded its highest points tally in a FIFA World Cup and that feat was topped in Qatar as, for the very first time, three teams representing the Asian Football Confederation made it to the knockout stages.
Australia, Japan and Korea Republic were the nations who scripted history with their Round of 16 appearances, but the Islamic Republic of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who hosted a truly superb FIFA World Cup, all had tournaments which they can look back on with fond memories.
With Argentina’s triumph over France in a thrilling finale at Lusail Stadium on Sunday bringing the curtain down on a competition that will live long in the memory, the-AFC.com looks back at some of Asia’s best moments from Qatar 2022 as the FIFA World Cup visited the continent for only the second time.
Lusail: Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni, who masterminded the South Americans' penalty shoot-out victory over France in Sunday's FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 final, called on his compatriots to enjoy the glory.
"It hasn't yet sunk in but this is a moment to enjoy, especially the people," Scaloni told the official FIFA World Cup media channel in Doha.
"We who live by this have had ups and downs, we're used to these things happening to us, taking blows," he added after the remarkable topsy turvy final in the Lusail stadium.
Lusail: France head coach Didier Deschamps said the way his team lost Sunday's FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 final against Argentina was "cruel" after they came from behind twice over the course of the game only to succumb in a penalty shoot-out.
"We were not as good in the first 60 minutes against top-quality opponents who had a lot more energy, but we came back from nowhere and turned the game around from a very difficult situation. That leaves us with even more regrets," said Deschamps after France failed in their bid to become the first team in 60 years to retain the trophy.
Hong Kong: China PR head coach Aleksandar Jankovic will be in no hurry to rejuvenate his squad in the build-up to the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ Finals next January as he looks to lead the country back to the upper reaches of the Asian game.
The Chinese have been drawn to face hosts Qatar as well as Tajikistan and Lebanon in Group A at the Finals with several players who represented the country at the last AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates in 2019 still integral to the national team squad.
But while key players such as goalkeeper Yan Junling, defender Zhang Linpeng, captain Wu Xi and striker Wu Lei are now reaching the veteran stage of their careers, Jankovic is convinced his squad retains the ability to compete with the continent’s best.
Queiroz introduces fresh faces as he charts new course for Qatar
Doha: There will be a fresh look to the Qatar squad for their CONCACAF Gold Cup challenge as Carlos Quieroz gets set for his first tournament as head coach.
The Portuguese, who replaced Felix Sanchez as head coach, has two major targets - Qatar's defence of their AFC Asian Cup™ title and qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
Among those missing from the Qatar squad for the Gold Cup are Captain Hassan Al Haydos, Akram Afif, Karim Boudiaf, Pedro Miguel, Boualem Khoukhi, Abdulaziz Hatem and Saad Al Sheeb in Queiroz's bid to blood new players.
Doha: With the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ groups finalised and the teams already planning their preparations, the coming months ahead of the continental showpiece kicking off on January 12, 2024 are sure to be filled with excitement.
Having already taken a look at Groups A, B and C, join the-AFC.com as we anticipate what is in store in Groups D, E and F.
The six group winners and runners-up, together with the four best third-placed teams will advance to the Round of 16.
Doha: As the dust settles on the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ draw and the teams start planning their preparations, excitement is set to peak in the months ahead of the continental showpiece kicking off on January 12, 2024.
The six group winners and runners-up, together with the four best third-placed teams, will advance to the Round of 16.
The action promises to be thrilling and as we await the kick-off, join the-AFC.com as we take a look at what is in store in Groups A, B and C of Qatar 2023.
AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ match schedule reveals thrilling showdowns
Doha: With the curtain setting on a glitzy ceremony at the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ Final Draw earlier today, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) have announced the official match schedule for the 18th edition of Asia’s crown jewel.
Asia’s top 24 teams discovered their group stage fate at the Katara Opera House in Doha for the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ and will do battle at the Continental showpiece between 12 January to 10 February, 2024.
AFC Asian Qualifiers™ – Road to Qatar smashes all digital engagement records
Kuala Lumpur: The AFC Asian Qualifiers™ – Road to Qatar Final Round was the most engaging in history, surpassing all previous editions of Asia’s FIFA World Cup qualifying tournaments with more than 788 million impressions observed on the Asian Football Confederation (AFC)’s digital channels.
Held across 10 Match Days from September 2, 2021, to March 29, 2022, as well as last week’s AFC Asian Qualifiers™ - Road to Qatar Playoff between eventual winners Australia and the United Arab Emirates, Asia’s top 12 sides battled across 61 matches with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Korea Republic and Saudi Arabia eventually clinching the Continent’s four automatic places, before the Socceroos claimed a record sixth AFC spot to join hosts Qatar.
Arnold wants more from Australia after Asian Playoff win against UAE
Doha: Australia head coach Graham Arnold warned his team they must improve to beat Peru and make it to a fifth straight FIFA World Cup after Ajdin Hrustic fired a late winner in a nerve-wracking 2-1 AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar Playoff victory over United Arab Emirates in Doha.
The Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder's deflected volley in the 84th minute decided the feverish Asian Playoff on Tuesday in the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium that will host seven games in the FIFA World Cup Finals in November.
Australia will take on a dangerous Peru side in the same stadium in a do-or-die clash on June 13 in their quest to qualify for the Finals and Arnold said he expected more from his players.
Doha: Australia will be the AFC representatives in Monday’s decisive Inter-Continental Playoff for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 after the Socceroos defeated the United Arab Emirates 2-1 at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar Playoff on Tuesday.
With Australia contesting their seventh FIFA World Cup playoff and the UAE at this stage for the first time in their history, both teams looked to attack from the start as Harib Suhail was caught narrowly offside and Jackson Irvine saw his cross cleared at the far post all inside the first three minutes.
Preview - Asian Playoff: United Arab Emirates v Australia
Al Rayyan: UAE head coach Rodolfo Arruabarrena and his Australian counterpart Graham Arnold have declared their respective sides fully ready for Tuesday’s showdown in the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar Playoff at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.
The two teams are battling for the right to face Peru in six days’ time, having finished third in their respective groups in the earlier round, with the UAE collecting 12 points to finish behind IR Iran and Korea Republic who advanced directly to Qatar 2022 from Group A while the Socceroos’ 15 points put them a point ahead of Oman and behind qualified duo Saudi Arabia and Japan in Group B.
AFC Asian Qualifiers Road to Qatar Playoff - UAE v Australia: How They Got There
Doha: The United Arab Emirates and Australia lock horns on Tuesday at Al Rayyan Stadium to determine the AFC representatives to face Peru in the Intercontinental Playoff six days later with a place at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 the ultimate prize.
The game marks the penultimate step in a two-and-a-half year journey including 18 matches over the course of two rounds, the first of which was interrupted by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic early in 2020 forcing it to continue just under two years later in a centralised format.
With the UAE eyeing a return to the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1990, and Australia targeting a fifth consecutive appearance on the world stage, the-AFC.com revisits the path that led both teams to this point.
Saleh leads new UAE generation looking to overcome vital Australia Playoff
Doha: Mercurial winger Ali Saleh leads a generational shift at the United Arab Emirates national team as they prepare to take on Australia in the AFC Asian Qualifiers Road to Qatar Playoff on Tuesday.
It is difficult to believe Saleh is still eligible to represent the UAE at the ongoing AFC U23 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2022 given how long he has been kicking around. The winger made his first team debut at his hometown club Al Wasl at 15, and by the age of 19 he had become a full international, underlining the potential seen in him by various coaches from an early age.
Australia’s Boyle relishing big stage ahead of crucial UAE Playoff
Doha: Australia winger Martin Boyle hopes his recent big-game experience will come to the fore when the Socceroos face United Arab Emirates in Tuesday’s winner-take-all AFC Asian Qualifiers Road to Qatar Playoff.
Having qualified for the previous four FIFA World Cups, a third-place finish in the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar Group B means Graham Arnold’s side must repeat the treacherous playoff journey navigated by Ange Postecoglou’s squad on the Road to Russia, with victories against the UAE then fifth-placed South American side Peru required if the Australian streak is to continue.
UAE v Australia: 6 players to watch out for during the Asian Playoff
Doha: With the clock ticking down to the kick-off of the AFC Asian Qualifiers Road to Qatar Playoff between the United Arab Emirates and Australia, the excitement and anticipation from both sets of fans are starting to reach fever pitch.
Here are six players to watch out for as Rodolfo Arruabarrena’s side clash against Graham Arnold’s team in Al Rayyan on June 7.
Kuala Lumpur: With Australia and the United Arab Emirates set to face off in the AFC Asian Qualifiers Road to Qatar Playoff on June 7, we recall some of the most memorable encounters when the continent’s sides have gone head-to-head with FIFA World Cup™qualification on the line.
From Japan reaching the global showpiece for the first time to an incredible ending in Riyadh, penalty shootout drama in Tashkent and Syria coming so close to a fairy tale ending, the-AFC.com looks back at four unforgettable Asian Playoffs.
Abdulrahman boost for UAE ahead of Asian Playoff against Australia
Dubai: The United Arab Emirates received a major boost ahead of their AFC Asian Qualifiers Road to Qatar Playoff clash against Australia as talisman Omar Abdulrahman made his first international appearance in over two years.
The 2016 AFC Player of the Year came off the bench at half time in the UAE’s 1-1 friendly draw against The Gambia on Sunday as head coach Rodolfo Arruabarrena tested 24 players in preparation for June 7’s crunch encounter.