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AFC Asian Cup 2019: Australia to face Uzbekistan in pre-quarters


Bengaluru, January 18: In a re-match of the 2011 AFC Asian Cup semifinal held in Qatar, reigning champions Australia will meet Uzbekistan in the pre-quarterfinals of the 2019 edition after both sides qualified by finishing second in their respective groups.

The match will be held on Monday (January 21) at Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain.

Australia had thrashed Uzbekistan 6-0 eight years ago. Infact Uzbekistan has never scored in three matches against Australia and they will be hoping for a change of fortunes.

After 36 matches, and no shortage of drama, the qualifiers for the AFC Asian Cup 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.

The Socceroos will then meet the winner of host UAE and Kyrgyzstan in the quarterfinals if it gets past Uzbekistan - before likely facing South Korea or Iraq in the semis.

Blockbuster clash

Meanwhile, a blockbuster clash between two of the competition's most successful nations -- Japan and Saudi Arabia -- in lined up in Sharjah on the same day.

Four-time champions and Group F winners Japan will meet Saudi Arabia, who have lifted the trophy on three occasions and finished second in Group E in an earlier kick off.

Later on the same night, in front of a typically passionate Zayed Sports City Stadium crowd, host nation United Arab Emirates will face Kyrgyz Republic, who have made history by reaching the knockout stage in their first appearance at the Finals.

A Son Heung-min-inspired South Korea, who were runners-up to Australia four years ago, will look to continue their perfect start to the AFC Asian Cup against a Bahrain outfit buoyed by the dramatic last-minute winner against India which sealed their path to the last 16. The match will be held at Rashid Stadium in Dubai on Tuesday (January 22).

Another mouth-watering clash is lined up on the same day at Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi when Qatar meet 2007 champions Iraq with the winners to face either South Korea or Bahrain in the last eight.

The round-of-16 matches start on Sunday (January 20) with unbeaten Group B winners Jordan facing a Vietnam side appearing in the knockout stage for the first time since 2007. The match will ne held at Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai.

That will be followed by China vs Thailand tie at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain. Appearing in their first AFC Asian Cup knockout fixture since 1972, Thailand have their task cut out against FIFA World Cup-winner Marcello Lippi's China.

Later, three-time Asian champions and Group D winners Iran will look to continue their unbeaten start against an emerging Oman side at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

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Story first published: Friday, January 18, 2019, 15:00 [IST]
Other articles published on Jan 18, 2019