It’s been a long week since we’ve checked with the AFC’s 2019 Asian Cup. Our last update was after Match Day 5 and unfortunately our best bets did not come through for Match Day 6. Since then, the favorites have dominated the tournament with little left to chance. With the end of Match Day 12, let’s take a look at the group standings and remaining fixtures as we prep for the knockout rounds beginning in five days.
Match Day 4 was a continuation of a return to normal for the favorites. With two matches on the docket, the opening fixture proved to be anxiety ridden for fans of Iraq. The second match could not have gone more according to script for Saudi Arabia.
After what some would call a dull opening to the 2019 Asian Cup, Matchday 2 and 3 could not have been more polar opposite. Matchday 2 provided fans a brilliant display of football with all of the drama one could hope for. The underdogs showed up much like the NFL’s wild card weekend! Matchday 3 was a return to normal with some world class showings for a few nations that are looking to make some noise over the next month.
The 2019 Asian Cup tournament kicked off in the late morning hours here on the east coast of the United States. The 17th edition of the tournament is being played in the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi took center stage for the opening fixture complete with a larger than life trophy in the middle of the pitch during the opening ceremony. The giant inflatable replica is a fitting symbol, given that the field is larger than ever before. As typical for most continental tournaments, the hosts got to open the proceedings against regional rival Bahrain.