Starting January 22, Asian Cup 2015 will launch into its home stretch: eight games in 10 days, culminating in the Final on January 31.
The quarterfinals will kick things off. South Korea vs Uzbekistan (a re-match for the 2011 third-place playoff contestants) and Iran vs Iraq comprise the two matches feeding into the first semifinal. In the second half of the draw, the match-ups are Japan vs United Arab Emirates and Tim Cahill's Australia vs China.
China is perhaps the surprise package of this tournament to date. The team won Group C with maximum points, winning each of its group stage games by a single goal. Midfielder Sun Ke has emerged as one of the tournament's notable players after scoring three of China's five goals in the group matches. His winner against Uzbekistan was particularly memorable, not least because it sealed the team's place in the knockout rounds.
Captain Zheng Zhi is expected to be fit for the quarterfinal after having to withdraw early from his team's last game, against North Korea.
Australia is also expecting its captain to return for the big game in Brisbane. Mile Jedinak missed two of the Socceroos' three group stage matches, but he is back in training and reportedly on track to return to the field.
For Tim Cahill, the game should bring his 80th cap for his country - assuming head coach Ange Postecoglou isn't minded to rest his team's all-time leading scorer. Any role in the game would bump Cahill up to joint-seventh on the all-time appearances list for the Socceroos.
Asian Cup 2015 - January 22 - Australia vs. China
Start Time: 5:30 am (Eastern)
TV: One World Sports (USA)
Other: list of broadcasting rights holders