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Japan's Hajime Moriyasu unfazed by potential Asian Cup round of 16 clash with Australia

Ritsu Doan added to Yuya Osaka's two goals to ensure Asian Cup favourites Japan kicked off their tournament with a 3-2 win.
Tom Rogic's injury-time winner over Syria confirmed Australia's place in the Asia Cup knockout rounds.
Son-Heung min set up both goals as South Korea overcame China 2-0, with both teams still booking their place in the Round of 16.
After failing to find the all-important winning goal against Jordan, Palestine must wait to find out their Asia Cup fate.
After an opening Asia Cup defeat to Jordan, Australia looked much more comfortable in a 3-0 win against Palestine.
Uzbekistan prevailed 2-1 over Oman in their 2019 AFC Asian Cup opener courtesy of Eldor Shomurodov's late winner.

Japan are out to win their group in the Asian Cup, but not due to any fear of meeting defending champions Australia in the knockout stage.

The Samurai Blue face Uzbekistan in Al Ain on Thursday needing a victory to avoid a second round clash with the Socceroos in the same city.

The four-time Asian Cup champions have already secured their passage to the last 16 after winning their group matches against Turkmenistan and Oman.

But they trail the Uzbeks on goal difference heading into Thursday's clash,...

Asian Cup Diaries - Everybody wants Chhetri, an Iraqi dream come true

Yusuf before Iraq's game against Vietnam outside the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Yusuf before Iraq's game against Vietnam outside the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
 

The Asian Cup is considered the World Cup for Asian nations, and one can see a glimpse of that in the playing styles on display. The West Asian nations (Saudi Arabia, Iran) are tough, rugged and play a fairly physical game, while those from further east (China, South Korea) are quick, technical and extremely clever at controlling the tempo in games. Then there are teams like India, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines and Turkmenistan, who are either all on debut or returning to this tournament after a...

Australia, Iran, Japan, South Korea lead expanded field at '19 Asian Cup

Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan speaks on the surreal feeling of reaching 50 appearances for Australia.

The newly-expanded 2019 Asian Cup that kicks off on Saturday in Abu Dhabi with hosts United Arab Emirates (UAE) against Bahrain may feature some new teams but those contesting the final on Feb. 1 in the same city are likely to be more than familiar.

The usual quartet of Japan, South Korea, Australia and Iran are favourites among a field that now contains 24 runners instead of 16. Only the last of that quartet still have the same coach in the UAE as they had in Russia last summer at the World Cup....

Japan leave Shinji Kagawa and Shinji Okazaki out of Asian Cup squad

Shinji Kagawa and Shinji Okazaki will not participate in the 2019 Asian Cup.

Leicester City striker Shinji Okazaki and Borussia Dortmund playmaker Shinji Kagawa were both omitted from Japan's 23-man squad for the 2019 Asian Cup on Wednesday, but Southampton centre back Maya Yoshida was included in the list.

Okazaki, 32, is Japan's third-highest scorer but has failed to find the net for either club or country in a year, while Kagawa, 29, is on the fringes at Dortmund, making just four appearances for the club this season.

Head coach Hajime Moriyasu has recalled...