The 17th version of the Asian Cup 2019 soccer event has received underway in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the 18-day lengthy main competitors, which takes place till February 1, 2019, is necessary for groups from Asia and Oceania.
The four-yearly Worldwide males’s soccer occasion permits the game to develop, particularly in a continent with an enormous inhabitants of soccer followers.
Once we take a look at the panorama of the event, there’s a complete of twenty-four groups collaborating.
Whereas a lot of the sides are ranked low in the FIFA rankings, groups like South Korea have beforehand accomplished nicely in World Cups.
Vietnam is a darkish horse and should shock many groups, stirring up the event. If India performs as a collective unit with some motivation, they might shock a couple of groups additionally.
There are a number of top-class footballers who’ve the potential to develop into star champions of the Asian Cup.
Six teams function 4 groups every, enjoying initially beneath a round-robin format.
The highest two groups, together with the 4 greatest third locations sides will attain the knockout levels, commencing with the final 16 spherical.
Subsequently, groups will qualify for the quarter-finals, semi-finals and remaining itself.
Eight totally different grounds in 4 cities of the UAE will stage the matches.
These embrace Zayed Sports activities Metropolis Stadium, Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium and Al Nahyan Stadium (Abu Dhabi); Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium and Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium (Al Ain); Al-Maktoum Stadium and Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium (Dubai), and Sharjah Stadium in Sharjah.
Let’s take a better take a look at the six teams, together with the prospects of the groups, together with highlighting a few of the huge gamers:
- 1 Group A: UAE, Thailand, India, Bahrain
- 2 Group B: Australia, Syria, Palestine, Jordan
- 3 Group C: South Korea, China PR, Philippines, Krygzstan
- 4 Group D: Iran, Iraq, Vietnam, Yemen
- 5 Group E: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Lebanon, North Korea
- 6 Group F: Japan, Uzbekistan, Oman, Turkmenistan
- 7 Watch AFC Asian Cup 2019 promo right here:
Group A: UAE, Thailand, India, Bahrain
India, which is a part of Group A is a rising soccer nation.
Despite the fact that India has struggled through the years, they did have a stretch of excellent outcomes in 2018. For instance, holding China to a Zero-Zero pleasant draw in October 2018.
The infrastructure of India has improved with the launch of the Indian Tremendous League in 2014. India’s firepower to succeed can also be phenomenal.
Sunil Chhetri is captain incredible and their all-time main aim scorer. He’s a powerful participant who has no concern discovering the again of the web.
Whereas Chhetri has hanging talents, he’s in his early thirties. Therefore health will probably be key for Sunil.
Central defender Sandesh Jhingan is just like the Indian wall and could possibly be a key participant for them. In response to Jhingan India can get the outcomes so long as they dig deep and play as a group:
“It’s going to be tough, but not impossible. We have to stick to our plan and perform as the coach wants us to.
“We have to keep showing the unity which has made us stand out. If we do that, we can grind out the results we need.”
When requested concerning the hardest workforce in their group, Sandesh replied:
“UAE are the host team and I feel they will be tough to face. But I believe that the onus is all on us.
Indeed, hosts UAE are somewhat favourites in this group. They have home advantage, crowd, on their side and are familiar with the conditions
The other team that can give a difficult time, particularly to India is Thailand.
Thailand does have football tradition and heritage. They have got some good players coming through the ranks.
In 2017, Thailand won the Southeast Asian Games title, defeating Malaysia 1-0 in the Kuala Lumpur final.
Bahrain, the fourth team in the group will have to string up a few results to have a chance.
Group B: Australia, Syria, Palestine, Jordan
Australia, nicknamed the Socceroos are favourites from Group B. They are also the defending champions, having won the tournament in 2015.
Australia beat South Korea 2-1 after extra time in the final four years ago. Some experts believe they can retain the trophy.
Going by form and past record, Australia should qualify out of the group. But a couple of their players have retired since the 2018 FIFA World Cup, including striker Tim Cahill.
Although some may wonder, why is Australia competing in the Asian Cup? Well, the tournament apparently does cover this side from the Oceania region.
Nations from the Levant area, including Syria, Palestine and Jordan are the three teams joining Australia in Group B.
Some may remember that Australia did play against Syria in the 2018 World Cup play-off, overcoming them 3-2 on aggregate.
The grudge fixture on January 15, 2019, featuring both teams is a chance for Syria to get revenge.
Sports journalist, Ubaida Nafie told CNN that Syria can do well in the tournament, mentioning:
“The team [Syria] can play a leading role.”
“The players are in good shape and the technical and management staff are also effective.”
Palestine and Jordan who might wrestle to complete in first or second place will battle it out for third place.
Group C: South Korea, China PR, Philippines, Krygzstan
Shifting to Group C, South Korea need to be among the many favourites. South Korean midfielder and captain Son Heung-min from Tottenham Hotspur might be the star of the event.
Their 2-Zero win towards Germany on the 2018 FIFA World Cup was large, as they left the event on a excessive and with smiles.
South Korea additionally gained Gold on the 2018 Asian Video games, beating Japan 2-1 after additional time. That was an enormous feather in the cap for them.
China one other rising soccer energy will in all probability get by way of in the second place. They’ve a very good mixture of expertise and youth in their aspect.
It’s the first time that the Philippines has made it to the Asian Cup. Football is just not essentially the preferred sport in the Philippines, however individuals are keen about it. The game has big potential there.
There’s a variety of pleasure in the nation, with not an excessive amount of expectations. Individuals simply need the group to do their greatest.
The large gamers for them are brothers, James Younghusband and Phil Younghusband.
Phil who leads the aspect performs in the ahead place, while James is a winger.
Former England supervisor Sven-Goran Eriksson from Sweden is the coach of the Philippines. That may be a large appointment for them.
Being the bottom ranked group in the group, the Philippines will wrestle to progress for the latter levels,
The Philippines, nevertheless, does have a bonus over newcomers Krygzstan. South Korea and China are fairly a distinction to the Philippines and Krtygzystan.
Group D: Iran, Iraq, Vietnam, Yemen
Group D is fascinating because it consists of former winners Iran and Iraq who’ve a conflicting historical past. Vietnam and Yemen full this group.
Iran, the very best ranked staff in the event will undergo barring any main shock.
Don’t overlook Iran pushed Spain and Portugal all the best way in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Regardless of not carrying that type to the Asian Cup, their Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz is optimistic concerning the group:
“After the World Cup we were living a good moment with our performances and the opportunities that most of our players got to live and play in good teams in Europe, but unfortunately we have been hit by a wave of injuries since September.
“But we have a settled group with good foundations and good knowledge between all of them and we just need to turn these difficulties into belief and hope. We’re going to try.”
Iran has gained the event beforehand on three consecutive events, together with twice as hosts. Iran was profitable in 1968,1972 and 1976.
Vietnam might probably end in the second place, forward of Iraq. They gained the 2018 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF)Championship, beating Malaysia Three-2 on combination in the ultimate.
As a rising soccer nation, Vietnam has quite a bit to supply in this event.
Taking a look at their pedigree, Iraq additionally has an opportunity to qualify. Iraq turned champions of the 2007 Asian Cup.
Yemen will probably be very fortunate to win even one recreation.
Group E: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Lebanon, North Korea
Saudi Arabia head Group E as a number of champions of this event. They lifted the trophy in 1984, 1988 and 1996.
The match between Qatar and Saudia Arabia displays their blockade rivalry off the pitch. No matter what occurs in the event, each groups will probably be determined to beat one another.
The event can be a superb litmus check for the 2022 FIFA World Cup hosts Qatar.
Qatar who takes this event as considerably of a heat for the 2022 World Cup will need to impress.
Together with Saudi Arabia, as Qatar are geographically near the UAE, they are going to be accustomed to the circumstances and the dry local weather.
Promising striker Akram Atif believes the group have made enough preparations for the occasion, saying:
“Our preparations have been more than excellent. We’ve played a number of impressive games against teams with various playing styles in the past few months.
“That’s helped us build our experience, improve our physical fitness and understanding, and test a lot of tactical plans. I believe we’re ready to translate all that on to the pitch.”
The 22-year-old who all the time dreamt of enjoying such a event isn’t overwhelmed by the event as he mentions:
“Personally, I don’t fear pressure, and if there’s pressure I’ll turn it into a positive.”
“If I find myself under man-to-man pressure, that won’t be a big deal as I’m not the only player in the team.
“My team-mates are capable of compensating for that in their own positions. We know the coach has effective solutions to all these tactical issues.”
1966 World Cup quarter-finalists North Korea evokes plenty of diplomatic and secret curiosity. North Korea is more likely to attain the knockout levels. However one can’t dismiss or low cost Qatar.
Lebanon additionally in the group have little or no probability to make a mark.
Group F: Japan, Uzbekistan, Oman, Turkmenistan
Japan, historically a robust workforce of Asian soccer will dominate Group F.
They’re the one Asian workforce to have made it out of the group stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The workforce goes via a standard part, with a few of their skilled retired post-World Cup.
Japan is naturally anticipated to qualify from F. Oman who gained the 23rd Arabian Gulf Tournament in 2018 are additionally in this group.
They narrowly beat UAE 5-Four on penalties. Thus Oman has an opportunity of doing one thing in the event. Once more with Oman near the UAE, they may know the circumstances and be used to enjoying in the warmth.
They’ve a much bigger benefit than Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan who’re geographically additional north to the UAE.
Watch AFC Asian Cup 2019 promo right here:
Within the first match of the competitors on January 5, 2018, Bahrain silenced the vocal residence crowd, with a 1-1 draw towards the UAE.
Crowd help might be essential for this event. On the 2011 event held in Qatar, there have been only a few individuals watching contained in the stadiums.
As FIFA needs to unfold the sport and encourage soccer in totally different areas, UAE has a good probability to showcase the growing reputation of soccer in Asia.
With an enormous subcontinental presence in the desert nation, organisers are hoping that desi followers will come out to help Group India.
The involvement of followers ought to energise the event. Be careful for India, the Blue Tigers and Thailand, the Conflict Elephants.
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