By Paul Nicholson in Abu Dhabi
January 17 –Last night Iran and Iraq treated us to a fractious encounter. Two proud nations who have a political history of conflict delivered an at times niggly if not quite full-on encounter. Tonight the Asian Cup delivers War GamesII – Qatar vs Saudi Arabia, the blockbuster game to end the group stages.
January 14 – Defending champions Australia, Palestine and Syria will battle on Tuesday for the remaining knockout spots in Group B. Jordan, the surprise package of the tournament so far, have already qualified as group winners.
January 13 – United Arab Emirates coach Alberto Zaccheroni (pictured) is focused on claiming top spot in Group A as the Asian Cup hosts aim to secure their place in the last 16 when they face Thailand in their final group game on Monday.
January 12 – Qatar coach Felix Sanchez has emphasised his team’s style will not be altered when they play DPR Korea in their Group E clash. The Qatari will seek three points and qualification after Saudi Arabia gained top spot with a 2-0 win over Lebanon on Saturday.
January 12 – Carlos Queiroz and Iran will not take Vietnam lightly as the sky-high favourites in the Asian Cup 2019 seek three points and qualification from Group D.
January 10 – Marcello Lippi has defended his tenure at the helm of the Chinese national team, citing the emergence of young players as a long-term benefit. On Friday three points against the Philippines will ensure China’s progress to the knockout stages of the 2019 Asian Cup.
January 10 – Under pressure UAE coach Alberto Zaccheroni (pictured) has described the game with India as a “make-or-break” Asian Cup encounter for the hosts. In the opposition dugout he faces a buoyant Indian coach in Stephen Constantine who has vowed that his team will play for all three points.
January 7 – With Iran having set down an emphatic marker with their 5-0 win over Yemen, the battle between the two other group D teams Iraq and Vietnam assumes even greater importance in the bid to secure the top two automatic last 16 qualifying slots.
January 6 – Iran have not won the Asian Cup since 1976 and as Team Melli chase a fourth continental title Carlos Queiroz has stressed that Iran are not underestimating Yemen in their opening fixture, calling it “a crucial game”.
By Samindra Kunti in Abu Dhabi
January 5 – India and Thailand will focus on kicking off their Asian Cup campaign in winning style on Sunday at the Al Nahyan Stadium as the two nations have subdued tournament expectations after enduring a troublesome build-up to the finals.
By Abdelaziz Abuhamar
January 5 – The 2019 Asian Cup opener today between the host nation UAE and Bahrain will be only the second encounter between the two national teams in this competition. The first was in the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia. UAE won 2-1.