Australia through to last 16 after last-gasp win over Syria

An injury time long range effort from Tom Rogic was enough to seal Australia's place in the Round of 16 and eliminate Syria.

Australia through to last 16 after last-gasp win over Syria

Check out the full schedule for the AFC Asian Cup Round of 16 fixtures

Australia 3-2 Syria, Asian Cup: as it happened

Late drama here in Al Ain. Australia will need to improve dramatically if they are to retain their 2015 winners crown as they were outplayed in long spells of the 90' by a determined Syria. Many thanks for your company today and stay with us at As English as we'll have more live coverage from the Emirates tomorrow as groups C and D are resolved in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.  

Here's how Group B finishes:   

Syrian players tumble to the ground as they know they're out of the 2019 Asian Cup. Palestine finish third and have to wait with Jordan and Australia through to the Round of 16.    

Syria head out as the whistle goes

It's all over in Abu Dhabi as Jordan and Palestine draw 0-0

Wonderful strike from the Australia no. 23 breaking Syrian hearts at the same time 

90'+1'   Australia killing time as Rogic lashes the ball into the net to seal a late winner.... Goooooool 

90'   4' of time to be added... still 0-0 in Abu Dhabi ...

and it's Luongo who makes way for the Al-Ittihad player

Final change for Aus: Jurman to come on

88'   Dangerous free for Syria.... Nervous times for the Socceroos....the ball breaks to Youssef and he tries to find a team-mate but sends the ball too long. 

87'   As things stand in Group B, Palestine are fourth and go home. Syria wold finish third and have to wait .... Palestine 0-0 Jordan in Abu Dhabi.  

We've seen the spot kick a decision again and it certainly was a soft one...

86'   Syria corner as the ball falls to Youssef who drives wide..... 

84'   Into the final 5' we go. Irrespective of the decision, there may be a degree of evening out the earlier decision where Milligan handled.  

Was it a penalty? Tough call and even tougher to make given that there has been zero replays of the incident !  

82' Final change for Syria: Medani on for Al Mobayed

80' 80' Change for Aus: Kruse on / mabil off   

80'   Game on in Al Ain...well struck setting up a tense final 10' 

79'   Al Soma to take the kick ....scores .... Gol 2-2 ...

79'   It's a penalty for Syria !!!

78' Al Soma or Khribin to take ? It's the No. 7 as he rifles the ball forcing a good save from Ryan

77'   Ryan called into action for Australia for the first time in the half. Decent save from the Aussie stopper as Syria win a dangerous free-kick on the edge of the area.

75'   Austraila hit the post ...  Giannou striking the upright with the keeper beaten.

  Change for Syria: Al Jwayed off -  Al-Anizan on


Still 0-0 between Jordan and Palestine ... Syria 20' away from an exit from the Asian Cup  

Youssef on for Osman (Syria)

71'   The ball is in the Syrian net but the flag was off as Rogic slots home 

71' Ikonomidis breaks into the area in space and fires his shot wide with the goal at his mercy. 

68'   Just over 20' to ago and Austraila seem to have seen out the storm. Syria have dropped back from the initial intensity they displayed in the first half.  Difficult to see the men in white getting the 2 goals that would seal their passage into the next stage.   

Change for Aus: Apostolos on for MacLaren

65'   Say what you want about VAR, but the Australian goal and the Milligan penalty are two that would have benefited from the technology. The Ikonomidis goal is inconclusive but the penalty was blatant....

64'   Syrian fans finding their voice again... Could Palestine sneak through to the last 16 with just 2 points? 

62'   Spell of Syrian pressure as they forge looking for the goal that would bring them back into the game and tournament

Another card as Luongo fouls  

Big call for a Syria penalty as the ball bounces onto Milligans arm....ball to arm? Probably a spot kick .... harsh on Syrian side...   

60'   Syria getting desperate now firing hopeful balls looking for Al Soma

58' First card of the night as Al Mawas is booked for an elbow  

56'   The noise has evaporated from the fans with the goal a major body-blow for the men in white

With the other game at 0-0 it's now Syria who slip to fourt and will be heading home. 

Goal stands and it's Australia 2-1 Syria. Doubts still remain about the ball crossing the line. No VAR at the group stage. 

Goooool. Ikonomidis puts Australia ahead again... doubt over the ball crossing the line  

53'   Early pressure coming from Australia. Mohammed Osman another stand out player for Syria, the only player for the side plying his trade in European football (Heracles Almelo) Holland

Two points as a third place team may not be enough to take Syria through though so a win vital for  "Les eagles de Qasyoun"

51'   Still 0-0 between Jordan and Palestine in Abu Dhabi ....Palestine out as things stand

49'   Al Ajaan robs Mabil as Syria win a free in the centre of the park .... As was the case in the Aus-Palestine game the stadium has now filled up.

Australia win a dangerous free with Mabil poised to hit and indeed it's the Midtjylland forward with the strike but it's wide and high...

Syria need the win to ensure a Round of 16 place. A draw will suffice for the Socceroos to progress.

Just waiting for the starting whistle to ensure both Group B games start at the same time.... Big 45' ahead...

We're back in Al Ain as the players slowly make their way back to the pitch.

First half possession stat: Aus 58-42 Syria (%)

Syria's forward Omar Khrbin (face) celebrates his goal with Syria's goalkeeper Ibrahim Almeh

HT: Huge wave of noise from the Syrian fans as the whistle sound for the interval. Frantic end to the first period with everything to play for. Syria the better side for the first thirty minutes before the Socceroos found another gear and upped the tempo. A draw a fair assessment of the first 45'.

45'   Still no goals between Jordan and Palestine. 1 minute of time to be added.

  Australia 1-1 Syria as we edge towards the half time break. 

42' Wow...what a spell of play .... Mabil for Australia and an immediate reply from Syria as Khribin ties the game.

Goallllll Syria strike back as Khribin fires the ball into the roof of the net from close range...

Lovely left footed execution from Mabil just as the Socceroos were imposing themselves on the game...

Mabil scores for Australia ....Big goal for the holders 

39'   More pressure from the men in gold with the left hand side opeing up for Ikonomidis as Mabil unleashes a volley on target but it ricochets away from danger. Australia coach Arnold will be encouraged with this recent spell of play for his side.

34' Australia now starting to grab a foothold in the game with Rogic looking dangerous at the heart of all Australia creative play.  

34' Ikonomidis strikes on goal but straight at the keeper. Australia strike again with Maclaren forcing a double save from the Syrian stopper. Better now from the holders.

34'   Australia's midfielder Chris Iknonomidis (L) vies for the ball against Syria's defender Hussein Jwayed during the 2019 AFC Asian Cup group B football match between Australia and Syria at the Khalifa bin Zayed stadium in Al-Ain 

Aussie fans anxious on social media now ...

31'   All square here, all square in Abu Dhabi ... Palestine out as we stand

28'   Osman and Al Soma creating all sorts of problems for the Aussie defence whe they get the ball. Osman wins a dangerous free-kick for his side, Al Soma waits for the delivery at the back post ... the ball creeps into the net but the whistle had already sounded... A block from Osman the root of the infringement....  

26'   Good break from Mabil but the winger found himself lacking support and Syria intercept. A quiet game so far from the Midtjylland who was excellent against Palestine.

23' Australia finally starting to settle in the game, looking more confident on the ball now.

23'   No goals in either Group B game. As things stand it's Palestine the side who will be packing their bags and waving good-bye to the UAE and 2019 Asian Cup.

A supporter holds images of Syria's forward Omar Al-Somah (L) and Syria's forward Omar Khrbin (R) during the 2019 AFC Asian Cup group B football match

18' Al Somah again breaks into the box and is just off-side. Syrian fans responsing to this pressure as once again Al Somah drifts offside. Great play from the men in white. Can they make it count ....

18' Syria striker Al Somah looks sharp today....classic big target man currently playing his club football in Saudi Arabia. The No. 9 breaks into the Australian box and Al Somah loses his footing with the goal gaping. Nerves in the Socceroos ranks it's fair to say.

16'   Possession stats after the 15´mark: AUS 58-42 SYRIA (%)


13'   Syria very robust in their tackling this afternoon as Australia win a dangerous kick outside the opposing area. In the end it's Celtic player Rogic who takes with the Syrian keeper tipping wide for a corner. 

9' Plenty of noise coming from these guys as Syria almost launch a dangerous ball into Al Somah who heads over.

9'   Syria win another free-kick in the Socceroos half.  Al Mawas drifts the ball into the box but Australia clear their lines.

9'   Goal-less in both games as an Icelandic Viking clap breaks out in the stands. Australia fans now finding their voices with the Aussie-Aussie chant ringing out. 


7'   Despite the official message of the game being a sell-out, as was the case for Aus-Palestine, still swathes of empty seats at the Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium

5'   Early initiative from Syria and fair to say the bulk of the support from the 12.000 crowd coming for the men in white

4'   Free for Syria. Al Somah strikes and wins a corner for his side.

3'   Little to report so far with Syria pressing in the early stage

The Group B table ahead of kick-off 

We'll keep you posted with updates from Abu Dhabi where Palestine face table toppers Jordan with the Jordanian side already through.

Off we go.... D-Day for Group B.

4 changes for Syria today with a more balanced look to the side.  Syria in all white, Aus in all gold ....we're all set in Al Ain.  

First up its the Australian national anthem.

The teams make their way onto the pitch. Australia in their classic all gold strip, Syria in red and white 

Don't forget the all important permutations ahead of the Group B action: Jordan are through, that's the only certainty...

The Australia team getting ready for the action in warm up drills 

Syria fans getting into the mood ahead of the game.

Here's a user friendly guide which covers all the permutations. A win for Palestine coupled with a Socceroos loss sees Australia eliminated. Unlikely we know but....

The other Group B game between Palestine and Jordan also kicks-off at 1430. The Jordanian side are the only team mathematically through to the Round of 16 and Syria, Palestine and even Australia could all face AFC Asian Cup 2019 elimination today.

Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium will be at capacity (12.000) with a nervy afternoon ahead.

Syrian starting XI now confirmed: 
As was the case with Palestine-Australia, today's match is a sell-out.  
This is the Socceroos staring XI: 

Hello and welcome to our live Asian Cup 2019 coverage as Australia face Syria in Al Ain. Kick off is at 14:30 CET. 

AUS - SYR: preview

Five facts ahead of today's game:

- This will be the first encounter at the Asian Cup between Australia and Syria.
- Australia have conceded just 11 goals in 18 Asian Cup games, and only on one occasion have they let in more than one in a single game (3-1 defeat to Iraq in 2007).
- Syria have failed to score in two successive Asian Cup games. They have never a barren run of three consecutive matches in the competition.
- Omar Al Soma has scored the only two goals for Syria in their previous two competitive meetings with Australia, but he did not end on the winning team on either occasion (one loss, one draw).
- Syria are yet to score a goal in the 2019 Asian Cup, despite their players attempting the most shots in both of their matches so far; Al Soma had six efforts against Palestine, and Omar Khrbin had the same number of attempts against Jordan.

Pre-match press conference:

Australia coach Arnold: "It's all about mentality, it's all about attitude, it's all about going on the pitch knowing you're playing for your country, but also for your team-mates."

Syria coach Ibrahim: "There are no secrets in football, we have seen Australia and they saw us play, so it's down to getting the most out of your players."