What a fantastic win it was for the Socceroos in their final group stage match of the 2019 Asian Cup. The win secured their advancement into the knockout stage, where they’ll face Uzbekistan early on Tuesday morning.
We take a look at the upcoming game against Uzbekistan and give our betting tips below!
Needing a win to ensure their path to the knockout stage, the Socceroos pulled out an extra time thriller against Syria last Wednesday morning. Star youngster Awer Mabil opened the account for Australia in the 41st minute but the Syrians quickly replied just two minutes later through Omar Khribin.
The Socceroos reclaimed the lead in the 54th minute when winger Chris Ikonomidis found the back of the net and they looked like claiming a 2-1 win until the 80th minute when Syria were awarded a penalty, which was scored by Omar Al Somah.
In hindsight, a draw would have been enough for the Socceroos to qualify after the corresponding game in Group B between Jordan and Palestine ended in a 0-0 draw. However, a piece of brilliance from midfielder Tom Rogic in the 93rd minute sealed an emphatic win for the Socceroos and helped them to finish second in the group, just one point behind Jordan.
The Socceroos will now face Uzbekistan in the Round of 16, with the game set to take place at 1am Tuesday morning (AEDT).
Uzbekistan had a fairly soid group stage, winning two of their three matches against Oman and Turkmenistan and losing their remaining match to the tournament favourites, Japan, who went 3-0-0 in the group.
Since being bounced from the Asian World Cup qualification in the third round, the Uzbeks have had a pretty horrific run of friendlies before embarking on their Asian Cup campaign. They played 12 friendly matches, all against Asian or African teams in the lead up, and claimed just two wins. Those wins came at the hands of Qatar and North Korea both at home.
The Uzbeks have also been extremely undisciplined in their friendlies since the unsuccessful World Cup qualifying campaign. They have racked up three red cards in their 15 matches since August last year, including a red in their opening game of the Asian Cup, which was a 2-1 win over Oman.
Unlike their group stage matches, there is actually some value about the Socceroos here. They havent exactly been convincing in the Asian Cup as of yet, however, we think they probably have an easier matchup against Uzbekistan than the three they faced in their group stage.
Granted, the Uzbeks are currently ranked 95th in the world and of the three teams Australia faced in Group B, only Syria rank higher. However, Uzbekistans form in the lead up to the Asian Cup has been horrendous and wins over Oman and Turkmenistan, ranked 82nd and 127th in the world respectively, don’t really inspire much confidence.
At $1.83 to win the game in regular time, we think the Socceroos are great value on Tuesday morning.
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