AFC Asian Cup – A Retrospective (what a goddamn mess)

1 08 2007

Stuff needs fixin’…Ok… deep breaths…

Despite the glory of the winning team being Iraq, a fairytale storyline that could not have been scripted better… the AFC Asian Cup 07 was pretty much a shambles. Hosting it across 4 different countries may have lessened the load organizationally, but it created a logistic nightmare.

Now, no single country holds the blame, and there was some excellent football played throughout the 07 Event, but serious problems existed during it.

First of all, the heat. If you’re going to hold the games in the midst of Summer, then for the love of God, hold them at night. Is it any wonder many of the tournament’s top teams didn’t always live up to expectations? Teams traveling for literally half a day to get to destinations to play the next day, or even that night. Buses not showing up on time, charter flights & hotel reservations messed up. A twenty-five minute power outage in the middle of one game. In Bangkok, selecting a stadium on the outskirts rather than the National stadium in the middle of the city cost dearly, with games not any where nearly as well attended as they should have been.

The Japanese team suffered quite a bit, the organizers messing up their charter flight just prior to the third-place game versus South Korea – it wasn’t until the Japanese officials took matters into their own hands & chartered their own jet that they could travel to the remote Indonesian island of Palembang for the game. Upon arrival, not enough rooms were booked at accommodation, and players & officials had to share rooms (the official’s room apparently resembled a cheap backpacker’s dorm – there were so many bodies!). It’s highly probable that other nations have similar horror stories. Read the rest of this entry »


Top Sports Stories in Japan… (August 1)

1 08 2007

Hottie Sakura SakuradaSo… that’s two months down.

Wash that face, grab that coffee! Here we go!

Today’s top sports headlines in Japanese papers…

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Breaking news: Vieira wins Asian Cup, then quits

30 07 2007

Exiting Iraqi National team coach, Jorvan VieiraJorvan Vieira – the coach of the Iraqi National football team, who just won the Asian Cup – has quit. The absolute disorganization of Iraqi football was the reason behind not extending his 2 month contract.

Immediately after winning, Vieira announced his decision, and even tho’ pretty much everyone who had anything to do with Iraqi football begged him to stay, he has stood by his decision. Whilst stating he had no regrets about taking the job, he did say

“…I can’t fight against everybody. I’m looking for a club or a national team with good organization … here I’m doing everybody else’s job.” Read the rest of this entry »

Top Sports Stories in Japan… (July 30)

30 07 2007

Blue Skies & white, fluffy clouds

Overcast day today, I’m wishin’ for Blue Skies!

Today in Japanese Sports headlines:

  • Yomiuri Giants pound Carp (NPB)… [Daily Yomiuri]
  • Osim: “today’s match was like dropping your trousers twice”(Asian Cup)… [Daily Yomiuri]
  • Japan beats Lebanon in FIBA Asia (basketball)… [Daily Yomiuri]

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AFC Asian Cup 07: Iraqi Victory!!!

30 07 2007

AFC Asian Cup…Iraq have secured victory over Saudi Arabia in the final of the AFC Asian Cup 07. The historic win, Iraq’s first, came about when skipper Younis Mahmoud scored in the 71st minute. The Iraqi boys were clearly the superior team – the Saudis rarely threatened the goal-mouth. Only excellent keeping from Yaser Al Mosailem kept the score from spiraling.

The game was a fairly rough one, with Australian referee Mark Shields dealing 5 yellows in the first half. But he did keep control of the affair – and the result was well deserved.

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Asian Cup: Japan beaten by South Korea!

29 07 2007

Asian Cup… ouch.So Japan failed to beat an undermanned South Korean unit, and their dominance of Asia is officially over. With the victory, South Korea earn an automatic berth for the 2011 event (to be hosted in Qatar – announced today!).

After an 0-0 scoreline, Japan failed to replicate the success they had against Australia, South Korea running out winners on penalties – 6-5.

Never any love lost between these two rivals, this game was no exception. Japan reached scoring distance many times, but failed to capitalize. South Korea were held at bay by yet again more excellent keeping from Kawaguchi, the Japanese skipper.

The rivalry hit it’s zenith when Kang Min-soo was sent off in the 57th minute (unfairly, as replays showed) for his second yellow card. South Korean coach Verbeek & his assistants went batshit on the referee, none more so than South Korean soccer legend Hong Myung Bo. The referee expelled all 3 coaches along with Kang from the arena. Japan loses to Sth KoreaHong tried to sneak back in during the rest period post the 90 minutes regulation time, and refused to leave – security ended up escorting him from the ground… right under the noses of FIFA president Sepp blatter and South Korea Football Association chief Chung Moon Joon.

Still, the Japanese team failed to make the extra man count. Verily, the South Koreans looked even more aggressive in attack. During the extra time, South Korean keeper Lee Woon Jae made some excellent saves… and the rest is history.

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Top Sports Stories in Japan… (July 28)

28 07 2007

More Anna Ohura…Saturday here…

What’s in Sports Headlines in Japan?

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