The AFC Asian Cup, an international football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) was held in Australia from 9 to 31 January 2015. It was won by Australia after defeating South Korea 2–1 in extra time in the final, thereby earning the right to participate in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, which is to be hosted by Russia.
As host, Australia automatically qualified for the final tournament, while the remaining 15 finalists (with the exception of Japan and South Korea who qualified via their top three position in the previous Asian Cup) were decided through a qualification process, featuring 44 teams, from February 2013 to March 2014.
The final tournament was played in two stages: the group stage and the knockout stage. In the group stage each team played three games in a group of four, with the winners and runners-up from each group advancing to the knockout stage. In the knockout stage the eight teams competed in single-elimination matches, beginning with the quarter-finals and ending with the final match of the tournament. A third-place match was also played between the two losing teams of the semi-finals (Iraq and United Arab Emirates).
Japan were the defending champions going into the tournament, having won the previous competition in 2011. They recorded their worst finish in the Asian Cup since the 1996 edition in the United Arab Emirates, being knocked out in the quarter-finals by the United Arab Emirates in a penalty shoot-out.