Shocker in UAE, as hosts eliminate Asian Cup holders Australia

Reuters

Posted at Jan 26 2019 04:28 AM

United Arab Emirates teammates Majed Hassan Ahmad and Ismaeil Matar are advancing to the Asian Cup semifinals at the expense of Jackson Irvine and ousted 2015 champion Australia. Thaier Al-Sudani, Reuters

AL AIN, United Arab Emirates—Australia's defense of the Asian Cup ended in disappointment in the quarterfinals on Friday when an Ali Mabkhout goal gave hosts the United Arab Emirates a 1-0 victory.

Mabkhout scored the winner in the 68th minute after an error by defender Milos Degenek put him through on goal. The striker took the ball past goalkeeper Mat Ryan and found the net for the ninth time in two editions of the continental championship.

The UAE, who lost to Australia in the last four in 2015, progress to a potentially politically sensitive semi-final against Qatar after their Arabian Gulf neighbor stunned South Korea 1-0 earlier on Friday.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt launched a diplomatic and trade boycott of Qatar in June 2017. The countries accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism, which it denies. (Writing by Nick Mulvenney in Abu Dhabi, editing by Christian Radnedge)

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