2019 Asian Cup: Who is the Strongest in the Asian Continent?

The most prestigious soccer competition in Asia will begin soon, namely the 2019 Asia Cup. The 2019 Asian Cup will begin on (04/01/2019) and the final on (01/02/2019) by playing 51 matches. The number of 2019 Asian Cup participants is different from the previous Asian Cup. The Asian Cup this time amounts to 24 countries, exactly the format used at Euro 2016 in France. The United Arab Emirates has the honor of hosting the 2019 Asian Cup.

The five countries that participated in the 2018 World Cup will be a strong seed in the Asian Cup this time. The five countries, including Australia, South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. South Korea gave a surprise to the defending champions, Germany with 2 goals without reply and made Germany have to lift their feet faster than Russia.

While Japan, which as the only Asian country that is able to qualify for the last 16, had made Belgium work hard. Japan had a 2-goal lead but 3 goals from Belgian players made the “Blue Samurai” squad have to go home. Australia, the previous edition of the Asian Cup champion, is determined to defend the title they have won when they appeared as hosts 4 years ago. Iran also had troubles for Portugal and Spain despite remaining eliminated in the group phase.

Likewise also with Saudi Arabia, which only stuck in the group phase round. In addition to the five countries above, don’t forget the United Arab Emirates will act as the host. Public support that will fill the stadium later will also motivate United Arab Emirates players to perform optimally at home.

Outside of the host country and the five leading countries above, there are still 18 other countries that can surprise the leading countries. Of the 18 countries that will be performing at the Asian Cup, there are 3 debuting countries. The debutant country, including Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines and Yemen. However, there is one country that might have a big potential to make a surprise, namely China.

Chinese football slowly began to rise and try to catch up with the lagging neighbor, South Korea and Japan. China also recruited Marcelo Lippi, one of the experienced coaches who had brought Italy the 2006 world champion. At the 2015 Asian Cup, China was eliminated by Australia with a score of 2-0.

The competition for champions in the “Yellow Continent” will be very fierce this year considering the number of participants has increased from 16 countries to 24 countries compared to the previous Asian Cup. Who is the strongest in the continent of Asia?

ASL

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