Biggest-ever AFC Asian Cup kicks off with host UAE taking on Bahrain

TEHRAN, Jan. 05 (MNA) – The Asian Football Confederation's continental competitions, which is the biggest-ever in terms of the number of national football teams present in this edition, kicked off in UAE Sat. with host UAE taking on Bahrain.

The 2019 AFC Asian Cup kicked off in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday evening January 5 and will wrap up on February 1, 2019.

This edition, which is the 17th edition of the event, is the biggest ever in terms of the number of participating teams. This year the number of finalists has risen to 24 from the previous 16.

The host country UAE took on Bahrain and the match finished 1-1.

The National Iranian football team or as it is better known as the 'Team Melli' in Iran arrived in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

Iran is seeded in Group D along with Yemen, Iraq and Vietnam.

Team Melli will first take on national Yemeni football team on January 7 in Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Then, the Iranian players will face Vietnam on January 12 again in Abu Dhabi but in its Al Nahyan Stadium.

For the last match of group stage, Iran will take on Iraq on January 16 in Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai.

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