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2019 AFC Asian Cup: Quarter-Finals Preview

With just eight teams left now, the most exciting matches of the tournament lie just ahead. Will your favorite make it through to the semis?

After an enjoyably intense group stage and several nerve-wracking nail-biters in the round of 16, the 2019 AFC Asian Cup has finally come down to the tournament’s final eight teams. From what we’ve seen so far, all of the national teams still currently in the race have a very real chance of making it all the way to the end, making each of the matches from here on out a must-watch for any AFC football fan. 

So just to paint you a clearer picture of the sort of matches still awaiting us, here’s a quick preview of each of the four quarter-final matchups.

Vietnam vs. Japan (Thursday, 24 January, 9:00 pm)

While fan favorites Japan are one of only three teams to have made it through the group stage without losing a single match, Samurai Blue had arguably the most difficulty keeping a perfect record. In a very real sense, their performance thus far has been similar to France’s showing at the 2018 World Cup last year, playing just well enough to win their matches, but without the convincing dominance most fans expect from a team of their caliber.

But what does that mean for Park Hang-seo and his Golden Star Warriors? Japan underperforming does improve Vietnam’s chances, of course, but that doesn’t change the ...

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