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Asian Cup opens with a draw for the hosts, and Graham Arnold says he and the Socceroos are full of 'belief'06 January 2019 | FT Editor
- UAE, 1 v Bahrain, 1
An 88th minute Ahmed Khalil penalty ensured a 1-1 draw for the UAEwith Bahrain in their Group A opening match overnight, after Mohamed Al Rohaimi scored for Bahrain in the 78th minute.
- Adelaide United, 0 v Wellington Phoenix, 0
- Western Sydney Wanderers, 1 v Melbourne Victory, 2
- Melbourne Victory, 1 v Melbourne City, 0
It looked like Western Sydney Wanderers might at least get a draw, but Ola Toivonen's 86th minute goal (his second for the night) dashed the home side's thin hopes and gave Melbourne Victory yet another ... victory. The headlines and the experts:
- AAP: Wanderers' woes persist as Victory prevails
- News Corp: Melbourne Victory beat Western Sydney Wanderers 2-1 ($)
- Fairfax: Vastly improved Wanderers show signs of life but find Victory elusive
In Adelaide, despite dominating the game, creating numerous chances, and playing against ten men for the best part of 25 minutes after Wellington's Mandi was sent off with a straight red in a fiery affair, Adelaide United just couldn't break through. The headlines and the experts:
- News Corp: Adelaide's lack of firepower exposed in Phoenix draw ($)
- News Corp: Adelaide peppers the Wellington goal ($) but can't find a winning strike in Hindmarsh stalemate
- News Corp (John Kosmina): Busy month of fixtures will help determine A-League placings and Adelaide United’s finals push
- Fairfax: Kurz laments Adelaide's lack of cutting edge in Phoenix stalemate
Andrew Nabbout just never gave up - even when let go by Melbourne Victory, and forced out of a Malaysian side, to have his career reignited at Newcastle Jets with the ambition of playing at the 2018 World Cup. He did just that, until a shoulder injury forced him out, only to recover more quickly than anyone anticipated to be back in time for the Asian Cup. He gets his work ethic and his strength from his dad, a twice former 'Mr Lebanon' body builder.
Nabbout is looking forward to not being a lone man upfront, but having some company in and around the penalty box in Arnold's more attacking system.
'Never look back' is the motto of Ange Postecoglou when it comes to the 2015 Asian Cup, or any other big match for that matter. Likewise the players. While those involved in the 2015 tournament have great memories, it's a different set of circumstances and they're looking forward.
Another story on the 'unlucky' Socceroos coach, Graham Arnold, from his friend Robbie Slater. He says the Socceroos have been dealt “cruel blows” which have left “bitter” tastes, but with “momentum and belief” we could make it.
Arnold himself is now saying he “expects to win” and it's not arrogance but belief. That is a relief to hear. We don't get the many doom-and-gloom merchants, including some of our own Football Today writers!
Robbie Kruse “nearly threw his career away” outside a well-known Brisbane nightspot a decade ago - but a lot has happened since then for the “baby-faced” 30-year-old Socceroo. He's now 70 caps on, with a wife, a five-month old son, and is still getting regular starts with successive coaches at national team and club level because, as Arnold says, “we see what he does” - unlike those who disgracefully trolled him during the World Cup.
Tommy Oar warns that one player to watch out for in the Jordan match tonight is Musa Al-Taamari, with whom Oar trained alongside for a short time at APOEL. He is known as the 'Jordanian Messi', but Oar suggests a better comparison is Arjen Robben. Oar describes Al-Taamari as a “dynamic 21-year-old winger, who plays on the right but is left-footed and almost always cuts inside rather than hugs the touchline.”
Christine Nairn's 88th minute strike from a seemingly impossible angle has given Melbourne Victory a 1-0 win over rivals Melbourne City. Both sides had more than enough chances to win, with Victory now top of the W-League ladder. For City, it's a lost opportunity to get into a finals spot.
socceroos, a-league, w-league, 2019 asian cup, #asiancup2019, andrew nabbout, robbie kruse, ausvjor, australia