Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 腾讯微博 Wednesday 3 June 2015

Asian Cup semi-final a tale of two countries for Australia, UAE

(Xinhua)    11:01, January 27, 2015

SYDNEY, Jan. 27-- There are two different motivations for the teams in winning Tuesday's Asian Cup semi-final between Australia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

As host nation Australia have a national expectation on their shoulders to make it to the tournament final against South Korea on Saturday.

For UAE, making the final after their shock quarter-final win against Japan would be a bonus in their tournament.

"When we came here we announced our goal was to achieve the semi-final and our first goal has been achieved," UAE coach Mahdi Ali said at a pre-match press conference.

"Now the second part is that we aim to reach the final and we will work very hard to reach our level and reach the final."

Ali Scoffed at rumors star midfielder Omar Abdulrahman had been injured during Friday's arduous win over Japan after a penalty shootout.

"We don't have any injuries in our team," he said. "Omar was not limping and ran normal (at training)."

"Everybody is ready for the game. Hamdan Al Kamali was injured before the game against Japan in training, but we have no other injuries."

"We don't pay attention to what is said. Omar has shown all the talent and skills and he is one of the best players in the tournament."

Ali said he was well aware Australia were favorites, especially with a sellout home crowd of 22,000 behind them at Newcastle Stadium, 159 kilometers north of Sydney.

"Australia is one of the best in Asia and we have seen them qualify for the semi-finals," he said. "They are a very good team with a good group of young and experienced players and they have a good coach."

Australian coach Ange Postecoglou said he was not surprised UAE had made the semi-finals, and was wary of the team which has world- class players in Abdulrahman, Ahmed Khali and Ali Mabkhout, who all had top games against pre-tournament favorites and reigning champions Japan.

"We haven't looked past our next opponent. If people were assuming we were preparing to meet a certain team in the final, they have missed the point of what we have been doing," Postecoglou said.

"We didn't want to be the ones who missed out on a semi-final because we were thinking so far ahead."

"We have got a great respect for them and we have been tracking them since the World Cup."

"We know them really well and we have analyzed them well and we know it will be a tough challenge for us."

While UAE is expected the field the same team which beat Japan, Australia will be boosted by the return of star defender Matthew Spiranovic, who missed the quarterfinal win over China as he was suspended.

He is one of several speculated changes the Australians may make. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Liang Jun,Yao Chun)

Add your comment

We Recommend

Most Viewed


Key Words