AFC Asian Cup 2019: 5 key facts ahead of Jordan vs Vietnam

Asian Cup Vietnam Jordan

AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 champions Vietnam are about to face Jordan in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 Round of 16 clash at the Rashid Al-Maktoum Stadium in Dubai on Sunday. 

The fixture between the Golden Dragons coached by Park Hang-seo and Jordan, coached by former Belgium assistant coach Vital Borkelmans, promises to be an exciting one.

But before that, let’s take a look at the five key facts about the crunch knockout encounter.

1) Vietnam and Jordan have recent history

This might be only the first meeting between Jordan and Vietnam at the Asian Cup, but the two teams did meet recently twice!

And it was during their road to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the sides clashed in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers.

In the third round of the qualifiers, Vietnam and Jordan were pooled with Afghanistan and Cambodia in the same group.

The two sides played out a goalless draw in their first game at the Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City while it was a 1-1 draw in Amman as Nguyen Anh Duc opened the scoring for the Golden Dragons before Abu Amarah equalised in the second half.

2) Jordan have lost two in two in the knockouts

Jordan have been eliminated in both of their Asian Cup knockout games so far.

In their first ever Asian Cup at China in 2004, they reached the quarterfinals only to lose to Japan on penalties while in 2011 at Qatar, they were beaten 2-1 by Uzbekistan.

3) Vietnam’s second knockouts in as many appearances 

Vietnam have qualified for the Asian Cup knockout stages in each of their two appearances in the competition.

In their previous appearance at the continental championship in 2007, Vietnam finished second behind Japan to make it to the quarterfinals. However, there they faced a tough opposition in the form of eventual champions Iraq and lost 2-0.

4) The Golden Dragons youngest 11 in the tournament 

2019 AFC Asian Cup: All you need to know about VIETNAM

The average age of Vietnam’s starting XI at the Asian Cup 2019 has been younger than any other side in the competition.

Vietnam’s starting 11 fielded for the three group games averages just 24 year and 26 days.

5) Al-Taamari the key man for Jordan

AFC Asian Cup 2019: Jordan 1-0 Syria – Musa Al Taamari (27′)

The Vietnam defence marshalled by captain Que Ngoc Hai are set for a field day especially with them having to deal with Jordan’s Musa Al-Taamari.

Al-Taamari has been in scintillating format the Asian Cup 2019 having been involved in all of Jordan’s three goals so far, despite only playing in two of their three group matches.

He has one goal and two assists to his name in the tournament. And Vietnam’s hopes of progressing to the quarterfinals will rely heavily on them dealing with the Jordanian attacker.

BREAKING: Edy Rahmayadi resigns as PSSI chairman

indonesia Edy Rahmayadi

PSSI Chairman Edy Rahmayadi has officially resigned during the PSSI Annual Congress being held at Bali on Sunday.

Joko Driyono, deputy chairperson of the PSSI, will step in to the role of the PSSI chairman temporarily.

Edy, who has been under fire for several reasons including the Indonesia senior national team’s poor showing in recent times, said that he is resigning from the role by taking up the responsibility.

“For the better of the PSSI moving forward, I today announce that I am stepping down as the PSSI chairman,” he told the annual congress.

“To all members, please don’t betray PSSI. PSSI is a legacy from our ancestors and this decision was taken for the good of the organisation. I step down not because I am not responsible, but because I am responsible,” Edy said.

Thank you for all my brothers and sisters, fellow countrymen, let’s make our PSSI bigger, he added.

“I hand over the PSSI flag to Mr. Joko. I wish there will be professionalism in the organisation and all rules are followed. Because this is a sacred position,” Edy concluded.

The Indonesian politician also said that he would continue to focus more on his responsibilities as the Governor of North Sumatra.

AFC Asian Cup 2019 Predicted 11: Thailand vs China PR

Asian Cup Thailand China

A rejuvenated Thailand mounted a strong comeback to reach the knockout stages of the AFC Asian Cup 2019. But now they will face one of the strongest teams in the tournament in China PR on Sunday. 

Things were going downhill for Milovan Rajevac’s Thailand after a 4-1 defeat to India in their tournament opener. And the former Ghana coach was fired from his role not long after. And stand-in head coach Sirisak Yodyardthai seems to have gotten the War Elephants ticking again.

They defeated Bahrain and drew with hosts United Arab Emirates to reach the Round of 16 where they will face Marcello Lippi’s China. China went down to Korea Republic 2-0 in their previous game, but their qualification was already secured before the final group game and Thailand will have their work cut out against one the favourites for the tournament.

But first, let’s take a look at how the two teams could line up at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain.

THAILAND (5-4-1)

Goalkeeper: Siwarak Tedsungnoen
Defenders: Theerathon Bunmathan, Pansa Hemviboon, Chalermpong Kerdkaew, Mika Chunuonsee, Tristan Do
Midfielders: Chanathip Songkrasin, Thitipan Puangchan, Tanaboon Kesarat, Adisak Kraisorn
Forward: Teerasil Dangda

CHINA PR (4-3-3)

Goalkeeper: Yan Junling
Defenders: Liu Yang, Shi Ke, Feng Xiaoting, Zhang Linpeng
Midfielders: Zhao Xuri, Zheng Zhi, Hao Junmin
Forwards: Gao Lin, Yu Dabao, Zhang Chengdong

AFC Asian Cup 2019 Predicted 11: Jordan vs Vietnam

Asian Cup Vietnam Jordan

AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 champions Vietnam will face high-flying Jordan in the all-important Round of 16 clash of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 on Sunday. 

Both teams stand a chance to make history when they face each other in the continental championship at the Rashid Al-Maktoum Stadium in Dubai with a spot in the quarterfinal up for grab.

Park Hang-seo’s Vietnam scraped through to the knockout stages as one of the four best third-placed teams ahead of Lebanon, only due to a better disciplinary record. But having avoided some of the big names, the Golden Dragons will be hoping to go one more step further in the competition getting the better of Jordan.

However, Jordan, coached by former Belgium assistant coach Vital Borkelmans, is not to underestimated. They finished top of their group upsetting both Australia and Syria as they coasted through the group stages.

The match promises to be an exciting one. But, before that, let’s take a look at how the two teams could line up on Sunday.

JORDAN (4-2-3-1)

 

Goalkeeper: Amer Shafi
Defenders: SalemAl-Ajalin, Anas Bani Yaseen, Tareq Khattab, Feras Shelbaieh
Midfielders: Khalil Bani Attika, Baha’ Abdel-Rahman, Yaseen Al-Bakhit, Saeed Murjan, Musa Al-Taamari
Forward: Yousef Al-Rawashdeh

‘We are physically & mentally exhausted’ – Vietnam

VIETNAM (5-4-1)

 

Goalkeeper: Dang Van Lam
Defenders: Doan Van Hau, Bui Tien Dung, Que Ngoc Hai, Do Duy Manh, Nguyen Trong Hoang
Midfielders: Phan Van Duc, Do Hung Dung, Pham Duc Huy, Nguyen Quang Hai
Forward: Nguyen Cong Phuong

Highlights – Vietnam vs Yemen

AFC Asian Cup 2019: Thailand have become a very aggressive side – China PR coach Marcello Lippi

Asian Cup China Thailand

China PR head coach Marcello Lippi believes Thailand have improved their attitudes since the sacking of coach Milovan Rajevac after their tournament opening defeat to India. 

Lippi’s men are all set to face Thailand in the Round of 16 match of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain on Sunday. Their last meeting ended in a 2-0 win for Team Dragon in what as an international friendly in June last year. 

We expect to win – China captain

“I can say they’re a good team,” Lippi told the news conference ahead of the game. “They changed the coach after the first match they played and they changed the tactics and basic formation after the first match,” he said.

Thailand had sacked Rajevac following the humiliating 4-1 defeat to India and replaced him with Sirisak Yodyardthai who has taken over as the interim head coach.

Thailand went on to defeat Bahrain by a solitary goal before holding hosts United Arab Emirates to a 1-1 draw to ensure progression to the knockout stages of the continental championship from Group A.

“But what is important is they have changed their attitude. They are very aggressive, this is the characteristic of this team. They play at a high intensity and we have to be careful, smart and ready,” said Lippi, who won the 2006 FIFA World Cup with Italy.

“We hope we have the same performance we had against the Philippines because it’s important not to give too much space to them,” the China head coach said.

AFC Asian Cup 2019: I have tried to inject positivity into the team – Thailand coach Sirisak Yodyardthai

Asian Cup Thailand China

Thailand will face Asian giants China PR in the Round of 16 of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain on Sunday.

And Thailand’s interim head coach Sirisak Yodyardthai is hoping that the War Elephants will continue the development they have made under him and get a result against the Team Dragon. 

Thailand insist ‘We are not Underdogs’ ahead of China R16

“Since my appointment what I’ve tried to do is inject some positivity into the squad as well as freedom and creativity so the players can express themselves to their full potential,” said Sirisak who took charge after Milovan Rajevac was sacked following their 4-1 defeat at the hands of India in their tournament opener.

“You can see the results have gradually improved. Hopefully we’ll see that continue [on Sunday],” said Sirisak who has guided Thailand to their first knockout stage appearance in the Asian Cup since 1972 when they reached the semifinals.

Sirisak also talked about their opponents in the news conference ahead of the knockout tie.

“I’ve been following China closely, not just recently but for the last two years. I have also been following the development of the Chinese Super League as well,” said the Thailand coach.

“I don’t want to pinpoint any names because China have a lot of players who are very good, so we’ll be cautious about the game tomorrow and we’ll be careful not to underestimate them or focus only on one player but on the team as a whole,” he said about Marcello Lippi’s men.

AFC Asian Cup 2019: Wu Lei fit and ready to play against Thailand – China PR coach Marcello Lippi

Asian Cup Wu Lei China Thailand

In what comes as a surprise, China PR head coach Marcello Lippi has announced that striker Wu Lei will be ready to play in Team Dragon’s AFC Asian Cup 2019 Round of 16 tie against Thailand on Sunday. 

Horrific images of the Shanghai SIPG forward’s shoulder injury has been circulating on the internet after the 27-year-old missed China’s 2-0 defeat to Korea Republic in their final group match in the continental championship on Wednesday.

However, speaking at the news conference ahead of the knockout fixture at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain, Lippi said that the striker will be available for selection against the War Elephants. 

“He’s ready to go, he can play in tomorrow’s match,” said the Italian coach who lifted the FIFA World Cup in 2006.

AFC Asian Cup Player of Day 7: WU LEI

Wu Lei has been training separately from his teammates after sustaining the injury against Kyrgyz Republic and was attended to by two of the team doctors and it looks like the striker has recovered in time for the Thailand fixture.

However, he said that he has concerns for some other members of his squad.

“We have a few players who are not 100 per cent in the best condition, but we will check in training to see if they are going well. We’re ready and we’ll do our best to achieve the result we want so we can go to the quarter-finals,” Lippi said.

Central midfielder Wu Xi and Yu Hanchao are struggling with injuries as well as China look to bid goodbye to their coach Lippi on a high.

AFC Asian Cup 2019: Vietnam are a very strong side – Jordan head coach Vital Borkelmans

Asian Cup Jordan Vietnam

Jordan head coach Vital Borkelmans has said that Vietnam, their Round of 16 opponents in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 on Sunday, are a very strong team.

He was speaking at the news conference ahead of the knockout encounter at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai. Borkelmans’ team are coming into the fixture with bags of confidence after finishing top of Group B which also featured defending champions Australia and a strong Syria.

“I have seen, with my technical staff, many games of Vietnam. We know they are very strong but we also know their weaknesses,” said Borkelmans, who had served as an assistant manager under Marc Wilmots with the Belgium national team.

AFC Asian Cup 2019: Jordan 2-0 Syria – Tareq Khattab (43′)

“As coach, you work on this and I believe in my players. My players are trained at a high level. We’ve worked together for seven weeks now and they are amazing players,” the 55-year-old said.

Vietnam and Jordan clashed during the qualification matches for the Asian Cup 2019 when the two teams settled for 1-1 and 0-0 draws on their way to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“I have talked to my players many times: ‘Guys, you’ve made this [achievement] with what you did at this moment. You know the Vietnam team, you’ve played two times but that’s history. Now is today, and tomorrow is tomorrow,” Borkelmans said.

The Club Brugge defender believes that previous records or for that matter, Jordan’s excellent start to the Asian Cup in the group stages, count for nothing in the Round of 16 tie.

“What happened in the first round is finished for me. For me, it’s now about going to the game against Vietnam. I never look back, only forward,” he said.

“This is totally different now. You played three games for the next round, and now you play one game to stay or go home. [On Sunday,] two teams from two countries believing in what they have will do anything to go to the next round. It’s totally a different game from this moment,” he said.

AFC Asian Cup 2019: We will find Jordan’s weakness – Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo

Asian Cup Vietnam Jordan

Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo has said that the Golden Dragons will find a way to hurt their Round of 16 opponents Jordan when the two teams meet at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai on Sunday.

The AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 champions scraped through to the Round of 16 ahead of Lebanon, thanks to their better disciplinary record, as the last of the best third-placed teams in the continental championship.

Jordan, their next opponents, upset reigning champions Australia 1-0 and defeated Syria 2-0 to progress as the table toppers in Group B. And Vietnam’s South Korean tactician knows it is going to be a tough challenge for Vietnam on Sunday.

AFC Asian Cup 2019: The yellow card that sealed Vietnam’s passage to the knockout rounds

“We have already played strong teams in this competition, such as Iran and Iraq,” Park said in the news conference ahead of the Round of 16 tie. “Jordan are also well organised and well prepared and that’s why they got first place in their group ahead of Australia,” he said.

“[Sunday’s] match is not going to be easy, it will be tough but we will have to maximise our strengths to win. There are no perfect teams in the tournament, and we will find their weakness,” the former DPR Korea international sounded a warning to the Jordanians.

Highlights – Vietnam vs Yemen

The 60-year-old coach said that he believes his Vietnam side will be fully ready for Jordan. “At this moment, we are not 100 per cent prepared for the match, but we will have a meeting with our technical staff and players [on Saturday night],” he said.

“However, after analysing two Jordan matches, we can conclude that they were playing with a more aggressive style against Syria and we expect they will do the same with us. But if we score first, it will be harder for them,” the Vietnam head coach said.

AFC Asian Cup 2019: Jeonbuk Hyundai confirm Premier League offer for Korea Republic star

Asian Cup Jeonbuk Hyundai Korea Republic Watford Kim Min-jae

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC have confirmed that they have received an offer from Premier League club Watford FC for Korea Republic international Kim Min-jae

The centre-back is currently on duty with the national team at the AFC Asian Cup 2019 and helped Paulo Bento’s side reach the Round of 16 of the competition where they will face Bahrain on January 22.

And his current K League club Jeonbuk Hyundai’s general manager Baek Seung-kwon has confirmed that they have received an offer from the English club for their defender.

“Watford have made an offer. I cannot give much details about the deal, but it will be like how Lee Jae-sung went to Germany,” the club official told SPOTV News.

“Kim also knows that Watford’s proposal has come in. The player and Watford are in negotiations and he is doing it through his own channels because he is away at the Asian Cup,” he said.

Kim was also linked with Chinese Super League club Beijing Guoan and the two clubs were in talks to strike a deal for the defender. However, Jeonbuk have now said that the talks had not gone the right way.

AFC Asian Cup 2019: Korea Republic 2-0 China PR – Kim Min-jae (51′)

Watford, who are coached by Javi Garcia and sit seventh in the Premier League table, are reported to be paying the South Korean club $6 million for the services of Kim, who has been one of the standout performers of the Asian Cup 2019 so far.

AFC Asian Cup 2019: Top 5 youngsters from the group stage

Asian Cup

You could say that the AFC Asian Cup 2019 has lived up to the expectations. We have seen plenty of goals, head-turning displays, glory and heartbreak. And we are only just getting started. 

The Round of 16 action will begin on Sunday with all to play for the 16 standing nations in the tournament. But the group stages were a platform for some of the best young talents in Asia to announce themselves in front of the world.

So, we take a look at the five youngsters who caught our attention.

5) Anirudh Thapa – India

India might have suffered a heartbreaking after getting knocked out of the competition very, very late against Bahrain, but some of their players did impress many during the group stages. And their brightest starlet was Chennaiyin FC midfielder Anirudh Thapa who turned 21 last week. The youngest player in Stephen Constantine’s squad, Anirudh dictated from the midfield as India thrashed Thailand 4-1 and gave a scare to hosts UAE in their second match. Anirudh also netted his first international goal against the War Elephants, but Constantine’s cautious approach in their final group game saw the mideo only come on as a substitute in the 1-0 loss to Bahrain.

4) Ritsu Doan – Japan

Ritsu Doan is considered one of the rising stars in world football and is showing it at the biggest football competition in Asia. Doan has started the Samurai Blue’s first two games in the Asian Cup and has been a constant threat to the opposition defences along the right wing. He also scored the second goal of his fledgling international career in Japan’s 3-2 defeat of Turkmenistan. The 20-year-old earned a permanent move to Dutch Eredivisie last year after impressing for them on loan from J.League outfit Gamba Osaka.

3) Akram Afif – Qatar

AFC ASIAN CUP 2019 Players of Day 9: ALMOEZ ALI & AKRAM AFIF

22-year-old Akram Afif is one part of Qatar’s exciting attacking duo at the Asian Cup 2019 — the other being tournament’s leading scorer Almoez Ali who is also of the same age. While Almoez has grabbed all the headlines scoring seven goals from three group games, Afif has slightly flown under the radar. He has provided four assists in the tournament so far and has created more chances than any other player in the tournament — 10 from three matches. With impressive displays one after another, the Villarreal winger, who is currently on loan at Qatar Stars League side Al-Sadd, is doing no harm to his chances of returning to European football very soon!

2) Nguyen Quang Hai – Vietnam 

NGUYEN QUANG HAI orchestrates Vietnam’s opening goal at the AFC Asian Cup 2019

He is the one Vietnam turns to in the time of need. And Quang Hai hasn’t disappointed at the Asian Cup 2019 either. Salvaging something out of their clashes against three-time champions Iran and 2007 champions Iraq was always going to be a tough ask for Park Hang-seo’s boys. However, in the all-important third-place decider against Yemen, 21-year-old Quang Hai did step up and scored a peach of a free kick to give the Golden Dragons the lead. Facing Jordan in the Round of 16 on Sunday, Quang Hai and Vietnam will now be hoping that they can pull off another surprise and make it to the quarterfinals of the continental championship.

1) Mohanad Ali – Iraq

Mohanad Ali is the youngest player at the Asian Cup 2019, but you wouldn’t guess it from the maturity the 18-year-old shows on the field. He scored two cracking goals in Iraq’s first two group game against Vietnam and Yemen and what sets them apart is the fact that he created those openings all for himself. The Al-Shorta attacker is a physical presence up front, isn’t afraid to take on defenders and has a venomous shot to him. And it is now wonder that the likes of Scottish Premiership side Rangers FC are scrambling for his signature!

Thai League 1 outfit Sukhothai FC sign former Red Star Belgrade striker Petar Orlandic

Sukhothai FC Petar Orlandic Thai League

Thai League 1 side Sukhothai FC have acquired the signature of Montenegrin striker Petar Orlandic from Maltese club Birkirkara FC.

The 28-year-old striker formerly won the Serbian SuperLiga with Red Star Belgrade in the 2015-16 season and scored 14 goals in 30 league appearances across three seasons for the Serbia giants.

Petar left Belgrade in 2017 moving to Portuguese side CF Uniao competing in the country’s top division. He had brief stints with Chinese second division side Xinjiang Tianshan Leopard FC and Maltese side Birkirkara in 2018.

He has scored two goals and provided two assists in five matches in the Maltese league this season.

The Montenegrin will join the Fire Bats who finished 11th in the Thai domestic league last season and will be hoping to improve their standings this time around.

AFC Asian Cup 2019: Top 5 midfielders from the group stage

Asian Cup 2019

The AFC Asian Cup 2019 is reaching its business end in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the conclusion of the group stages on Thursday and the start of the knockout stages on Sunday. 

Over the course of the last couple of weeks, we have witnessed some of the best footballers in Asia taking centre stage and with that, it is also time to run the rule over their performances as well.

Here, we take a look at the five midfielders who have impressed us during the group stages.

5) Tom Rogic – Australia

AFC ASIAN CUP 2019 Player of Day 11: TOM ROGIC

Reigning champions Australia came in to the tournament looking to defend their title in the Emirates. However, they were left with a mountain to climb when they went down 1-0 to tournament’s surprise package Jordan in their opener. But they did manage to mount a comeback and progress to the knockout stages with two wins. And one of the key behind their resurgence has been Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic. The 26-year-old who was slammed for failing to live up against silenced his critiques with an injury time winner for the Socceroos against Syria in their final group game.

4) Boualem Khoukhi – Qatar

The versatile star is one of the more experienced in Qatar’s current crop of internationals and he makes sure that he is there to lead from the front when his team needs him. He has over 50 caps for the Maroons and can slot in in the midfield or defence for Felix Sanchez as they look to mount a challenge in the Asian Cup 2019. Boualem started as a central attacking mideo in Qatar’s opener against Lebanon before moving to the left of the midfield when they faced DPR Korea. The 28-year-old had no frills when he was fielded as a centre-back in the crunch clash against Saudi Arabia and kept a clean sheet! Talk of a utility player!

3) Javokhir Sidikov – Uzbekistan

AFC Asian Cup 2019: Turkmenistan 0-1 Uzbekistan – Javokhir Sidikov (17′)

Uzbekistan are looking to establish themselves as a player in Asian football under Hector Cuper and Javokhir Sidikov is one of the most exciting names the former Egypt head coach has under his disposal. Sidikov, only 22 years old, has started all three games for the Uzbeks so far and impressed in the wins over Oman and Turkmenistan as well as in the narrow defeat to four-time champions Japan. He also bagged his first international goal on January 13 when he scored against the Turkmens at the Rashid Stadium in Dubai. It looks like the future is bright for the Kokand 1912 midfielder.

2) Genki Haraguchi – Japan

The Hannover 96 attacker is looking to help Japan win their fifth continental title and has brought some form with him form the German Bundesliga.  Haraguchi scored the winner for the Samurai Blue against Oman in controversial circumstances but was rested for their final group match that was against the Uzbeks. In their first game, Haraguchi had provided an assist for Yuya Osako’s goal against Turkmenistan and played a further five key passes. His pass success rate in that game was an impressive 92.3 per cent!

1) Ashkan Dejagah – IR Iran

the 32-year-old veteran is reaching the twilight of his international career, but what a way it would be to end it by lifting Iran’s first Asian Cup title in 43 years!  The Tractor Sazi midfielder has looked up for it in the early stages of the tournament being a physical presence of right side of the Iran midfield. He has already scored one goal in Team Melli’s 5-0 thrashing of Yemen. The 32-year-old has made two starts in the tournament and but has played in 10 crosses in that time — more than any other Iran player.

AFC Asian Cup 2019: Thailand’s top 5 passers from the group stage

Thailand have made it to the knockout stages of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 in the most dramatic fashion. Their campaign looked to have gone off the track after a 4-1 defeat to India. However, they recovered and how! 

Thailand defeated Bahrain in their second match by a solitary goal form Chanathip Songkrasin and then held hosts United Arab Emirates (UAE) to a 1-1 draw to progress to the knockout stages for only the second time in their history.

They will now face China PR in the Round of 16 tie on January 20. But before that, let’s take a look at who were the top 5 pass masters in this Thailand side during the group phase.

5) Teerasil Dangda – 79 passes

Strikers barely get any touches on the ball compared to midfielders or defenders. Still, Thailand’s striker Teerasil Dangda makes it  as one of the players who made the most passes in the group stages for the War Elephants. The Muangthong United attacker made 79 passes, including two key passes, at a success rate of 70.9 per cent. The 30-year-old also scored Thailand’s consolation goal in their disastrous 4-1 defeat to India.

4) Tristan Do – 82 passes

The France-born star made the right-back position his during the Asian Cup. He made 82 passes during the three matches in the group stage of which 53 of them made its way to a teammate. However, what is telling about the full-back’s contribution to the War Elephants’ attack is the five key passes he has made from his defensive position.

3) Chanathip Songkrasin – 96 passes

AFC Asian Cup 2019 Player of Day 6: CHANATHIP SONGKRASIN

After failing to impress in Thailand’s first outing against India, Chanathip was a man reborn after Milovan Rajevac left the team. He took the responsibility into his own hands and delivered for the Thai national team. And numbers are there to prove it. The Consadole Sapporo attacking midfielder made 96 passes at a very impressive success rate of 84.4 per cent. He also made four key passes in the three games and scored the decisive winner against Bahrain.

2) Thitipan Puangchan – 116 passes

Thitipan scored Thailand’s leveller against hosts United Arab Emirates (UAE) which guaranteed them a place in the Round of 16. However, his influence wasn’t in anyway limited to that single goal. The 25-year-old, who joined the newly promoted J.League club Oita Trinita on Friday, made 116 passes out of which 82 were successful. He also fired six shots in three matches of which three were on target.

1) Theerathon Bunmathan – 139 passes

It is rather surprising to see a full-back top the chart for the number of passes, but that is what Theerathon has done in the Asian Cup. He played 139 passes and completed 119 of them — that is a success rate of 79.9 percent. He also made three key passes and provided an assist in the group stages.