Japan, Iran and UAE to begin Asian Cup title hunt on Sunday

Japan, Iran and UAE to begin Asian Cup title hunt on Sunday

QLNews
By QLNews

Japan, Iran, and the UAE, who all boast of strong squads in the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, will begin their quest for the title in Doha on Sunday.

Vietnam coach Philippe Troussier, who earlier coached Japan, will hope his boys can earn a surprise result against his former team. The intriguing match will kick off the proceedings in Group D.

The UAE’s head coach Paulo Bento will fervently warn his UAE players not to underestimate Hong Kong when the two sides meet in a Group C encounter in Doha.

Under coach Amir Ghalenoei's watchful eyes, Iran will begin as firm favourites against Palestine on Sunday. Here is a deeper look at the teams.

GROUP D
JAPAN VS VIETNAM

Kick-off: 2:30pm

Venue: Al Thumama Stadium

Frenchman Troussier, who led Japan to the 2000 AFC Asian Cup title in Lebanon, will go head-to-head against them for the first time on Sunday.

He will hope Vietnam does what Japan did in Qatar during the 2022 FIFA World Cup — cause sensational shocks and progress to the knockout rounds.

The two nations met during the quarterfinal stages of the 2019 Asian Cup, with Japan running out as 1-0 winners.

Then coached by Park Hang-seo, Vietnam had taken a spot in the last 16 by virtue of their fair play record in the group phase.

Japanese coach Hajime Moriyasu confirmed that Brighton & Hove Albion winger Kaoru Mitoma, who is recovering from an ankle injury sustained last month, will not start against Vietnam.

The Japanese coach, who led his nation to the 2019 final before losing the title to Qatar, will be hoping to go one better this time.

GROUP C
UAE VS HONG KONG

Kick-off: 5:30pm

Venue: Khalifa International Stadium

Hong Kong may be the lowest-ranked team in the continental tournament, but they are not ones to be ignored. UAE coach Paul Bento has advised his players to be cautious against the East Asian side, who are capable of springing some surprises.

The Hong Kong players, who play an intense game and are good at making transitions, can be deadly in counterattacks. Things will not be easy for the young UAE side, who are missing several key senior players to injury.

Hong Kong, under head coach Jorn Andersen, is qualifying for the AFC Asian Cup for the first time since 1968. They had also recently advanced to the semifinals of the 2022 Asian Games for the first time.

The recent addition of players like Everton Camargo and Michael Udebuluzor has fostered a renewed sense of confidence in the team.

GROUP C
IRAN VS PALESTINE

Kick-off: 20:30

Venue: Education City Stadium

Iran’s 60-year-old coach Amir Ghalenoei, who plied his trade in Qatar four decades ago, will be hoping his team makes good memories in the country this time around.

Ghalenoei, who wore Qatari side Al Sadd’s colours between 1987 and 1989, said his team had a good mix of players from the domestic and international leagues.

The tournament’s second-highest-ranked team (Rank 21), is high above their opponents (99) in terms of quality, but Ghalenoei refused to take them lightly.

Palestine head coach Makram Daboub, who felt Iran had the most chances to win the title in Doha, promised his players would put up a solid fight.

The Tunisian tactician, who prepared his players for the tournament by taking them to camps in Algeria and Saudi Arabia, vowed to impress fans.  

It is Palestine’s third consecutive appearance at the AFC Asian Cup.

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By kgksia• 20 Jan 2024 12:20
kgksia

Wow, love the football game.

https://www.kadashika.jp/

By Qaahir• 14 Jan 2024 22:38
Qaahir

Following are the results.

JAPAN 4-2 VIETNAM

UAE 3-1 HONG KONG

IRAN 4-1 PALESTINE

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