Epic openers dominate second round of Asian Qualifiers
Kuala Lumpur: The attention of world football will be on the Asian Qualifiers on Thursday when the Continent’s top sides aim to gain the early momentum in their FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 second round qualifying campaigns.
Qatar, the FIFA World Cup 2022 host and AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 defending champions, will face their first test against Afghanistan who will be eager to create their own fairy-tale in the first showdown between the two sides for more than three decades at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in Doha.
Kuala Lumpur: From wily veterans to willing novices, the men charged with leading the 40 nations seeking to advance to the next phase of qualifying for the the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 will be putting the finishing touches to the preparations as the countdown to kick off the second round of the Asian Qualifiers ticks ever louder.
The range in know-how between those taking part is vast, and no one brings more experience to the campaign than Marcello Lippi, the man who led Italy to their fourth world title in 2006 and who is charged with ending China PR’s lengthy FIFA World Cup drought.
Kuala Lumpur: Excitement is building as 40 national teams from around the Continent prepare to begin Round 2 of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 on Thursday.
With the major tournament dreams of the majority of Asia’s national teams on the line, and a total of 32 matches to be held in the coming days, the-AFC.com looks at some of the stats and facts you should know ahead of the football feast ahead.
Heroes, comebacks and last-gasp winners: Four Classic Asian Qualifiers
Kuala Lumpur: As fans around the Continent eagerly await the kick-off of Round 2 of the Asian Qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and AFC Asian Cup China 2023, the-AFC.com recalls some of the most memorable qualifying duels from the past.
While all footballers dream of making an impact on the big stage, sometimes the qualification journey can just be as memorable as the destination.
Stunning fightbacks, last minute winners and superhuman performances from some of Asia’s all-time footballing greats feature in this qualification quartet, which features clashes from both the AFC Asian Cup and FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
Jakarta: Simon McMenemy will look to tap into his experience as a club coach when he leads Indonesia into their opening Asian Qualifiers tie against Malaysia for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 on Thursday, as the two Southeast Asian nations commence their campaign at a pulsating Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta.
The former Philippines boss – who led Bhayangkara FC to the Indonesia league title in 2018 – will adopt a “one game at a time” approach to life in Group G, which also sees Tim Merah-Putih face off against Thailand, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates in the battle for places in the next round of qualifying for Qatar 2022.
Opening win will set us up nicely, says Uzbekistan's Cuper
Kuala Lumpur: Uzbekistan coach Hector Cuper is hoping his side can kick off their FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Asian Qualifiers campaign with a win over Palestine on Thursday to set the tone for the Central Asian side's challenge.
Uzbekistan have established themselves among the upper echelon of Asian football but have yet to represent the Continent on the game’s greatest stage and Cuper – who led Egypt to the FIFA World Cup in Russia in 2018 – is determined to make a strong start to their challenge later this week.
Renard announces Saudi Arabia squad for Group D campaign
Riyadh:Head coach Herve Renard has named his first Saudi Arabia squad as the West Asians get set to begin their Asian Qualifiers campaign for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.
Renard, appointed in July, has been tasked with ensuring Saudi Arabia qualify for their second successive FIFA World Cup and sixth overall.
They will also be chasing a fourth AFC Asian Cup title after their UAE 2019 campaign ended in the group stage.