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Asian Cup Heads Into The Knock Out Stages, Boys Are Being Separated From The Men.
Some pictures from UAE 2019 1 2 3 4 5 The 2019 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup is going thick and fast. It is a FIFA certified international men's soccer championship that is been held every 4 years and this year's championship is being hosted by the United Arab Emirates(UAE), started on the 5th January and will run through to 5th 1st February. It is the 1st time this championship that 24 teams will be participating in the showpiece having been increased from the 16-team format. The 24 countries include; Australia, Bahrain, China, India, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, North Korea, Oman, Palestine, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Syria, Thailand, Turkmenistan, UAE, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen. The 16 teams qualified for the round of 16 is almost completed, with just 3 places remaining to be filled up, among the already qualified are; the defending champion, Australia(2015 champion), Host UAE, 4-time champion Japan, 3-time champions Saudi Arabia and Iran, 2-time champion South Korea, China amongst others. BBCSports GROUP A Host UAE emerged from this group as the winner alongside 2nd place Thailand, completing the group are Bahrain and India. It was a keenly contested group with all 4 teams getting a win each, but the host added 2 draws to their win to earn 5 points ahead of Thailand and Bahrain who managed 4 points apiece with Thailand edging Bahrain on the head-to-head advantage, leaving India at the bottom of the group with 3 points. GROUP B Group B comprised the defending champion Australia, who were given a scare of qualifying with an opening match o-1 defeat to eventual group winner Jordan, but Australia rallied with next 2 wins over other group campaigners in Palestine and Syria to earn 6 points and secure their 2nd place slot. Jordan won the group with 7 points with 2 wins including the wins over Australia and Syria and a nil-all draw against Palestine who finished in 3rd place with 2 points having drawn with Syria in their 1st match, Syria crashing out with just 1 point. BBCSports GROUP C Group C paired 2 of the Asian heavyweights together, South Korea, China alongside Philippines and Kyrgyzstan completed the group. It was a straight forward win for both South Korea and China over their lesser competitors, living up to their big boys status. Then it was the battle for the group winner between these two, and it was the South Korean that claimed the bragging right with a 2 nil win over China. South Korea with maximum 9 points, scoring a total of 4 goals so far and conceding none, China finished with 6 points to qualify also for next round, Kyrgyzstan also earned a win over group whooping team Philippines to have a chance of still qualifying to the round of 16. GROUP D Group D also saw 3-time champion Iran slugged it out with seasoned campaigner Iraq, It was a stroll in the park for these 2 over other group competitors, Yemen and Vietnam. Iran with 7 goals so far from 3 matches and conceding none, qualified for the round of 16 with 7 point, edging Iraq who also finished with 7 points on goal difference, after head-to-head could not separate them both, Vietnam occupied the 3rd place with their solitary win over Yemen and hope other results go their way to qualify for next round. BBCSports GROUP E 3-time winner Saudi Arabia, Qatar, North Korea, and Lebanon occupied group E. It was all too easy for Saudi Arabia and Qatar who had 2 wins each over North Korea and Lebanon, and will battle it out against each other later today to claim the group. Lebanon still have a realistic chance of qualifying to the next round if she can win her last match against North Korea handsomely, North Korea with a goal deficit of -10 has a slim chance of overturning such goal margin. GROUP F Asian cup highest winner, Japan with 4 championship trophies to their name have qualified for next stage with a match yet to be played, they qualified alongside Uzbekistan, both already won 2 games each against the group's other teams, minnows Oman and Turkmenistan. Japan and Uzbekistan face each other later today to decide who wins the group, while Oman and Turkmenistan also square up for a chance to be the pick as one of the best 3rd-placed team. 4 3RD-PLACED TEAMS The race for the 4 3rd-placed team places not fully decided yet too, only Bahrain with 4 points look certain to join the 12 other qualified teams, Kyrgyzstan better goal difference also looks good to see them scale through. With matches to be decided later today in group E and F, 2 of Vietnam, Palestine, Oman, and Lebanon can still qualify to the round of 16. For more on Asian Cup results and the 4 3rd-place teams check table. The race to become Asian champion is getting hotter now that the boys are being separated from the men, it is the knock out phase and there is no room for error, the winner takes all from here on. The odds favor South Korea, Japan, Australia, and Saudi Arabia to go far in the competition, any other results will be a shock. 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