UAE’s Khaflan Mubarak tries to get past Kyrgz Republic’s Farhat Musabekov. Image source: AFC Asia Cup
Host country UAE edged past Kyrgyzstan last night with a 3-2 win in extra time to reach the quarter finals of the AFC Asia Cup 2019.
Earlier in the game, the UAE took the lead in the 9th minute with a free kick by its most experienced midfielder Ismael Matar, finding Ismael Ahmed who scored the goal.
Kyrgyzstan equalized in the 26th minute with a goal by Mirlan Murzaev. UAE striker Ali Mabkhout had a few more chances through the game, but he failed to convert until the 64th minute where he scored off an assist from Amer Abdulrahman. The visitors equalized for the second time in extra time when substitute Tursunali Rustamov headed the ball past the Emirati goalie Eisa.
The UAE finally clinched the game in the 103rd minute when Ahmed Khalil converted the penalty that was awarded when Kutman from Kyrgyzstan pushed Mabkhout as both of them were going for the ball.
With this win the UAE moves into the quarter finals to play Australia at 8pm on Friday 25th January. The last time the teams met in the 2015 Asia Cup semifinals - played in Australia - the home team beat the UAE 2-0 before going on the win the tournament.
The Asia Cup was last hosted in the UAE in 1996. That year they reached the finals, which they lost to Saudi Arabia 2-4 on penalties.