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 »


Asian Cup… Getting it done.

16 07 2007

Asian Cup… get that ball

Getting it done…

Some teams are, some teams are not. Japan did against Vietnam tonight, defeating them 4-1. UAE did tonight – ending the brief dreams of Qatar, defeating them 2-1.

Australia did… finally.

Rajamangala National Stadium, Bangkok – Australia beat Thailand 4-0, and that qualifies them for the quarter-finals (I think). Michael Beauchamp opened proceedings at the 21 minute mark, and Australia looked underway. Still, attempts were squandered left, right and center as Australia could NOT find the net. Then captain Mark Viduka, scored at the 80 minute mark, and yet again 3 minutes later! To put icing on the cake, Harry Kewell scored right on time – 90 minutes. Next… Japan.

My Dinh National Stadium, Hanoi – Japan looked the goods against Vietnam, far too strong in a match, winning 4-1. But both teams head on to the quarters.

Army Stadium, Ho Chi Minh City – UAE were just too strong for Qatar, ending the possibility of the minnows making it.

Supachalasai Stadium, Bangkok – Iraq managed to eke out a draw against their gulf-state neighbors, Oman. 1-1.

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Man… what is it with 1-1 draws? Vietnam & Qatar this time… (Asian Cup)

13 07 2007

We worship football…My Dinh National Stadium, Hanoi – So… yet again we have a 1-1 draw, this time Vietnam & Qatar. Sebastian Quintana again salvaged a draw for Qatar, after Vietnam led 1-0 off Phan Thanh Binh’s goal at the 32nd minute. The equalizer was well deserved, as the Qatari unit had dominated proceedings – the Vietnamese unable to really cause much damage until a defensive error by Mohamed Saqr, the Qatari keeper. Post that goal however, the local team picked up the pace, and Qatar was under pressure. Quintana’s goal at the 79th minute was well deserved, and the 1-1 scoreline was an accurate depiction of how the game went.

I just wish we had some more WINS on the board!

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Top Sports Stories in Japan… (July 10)

10 07 2007

Princess on Ice, Mai Asada

Wet today, and actually a lil’ cool. Due to the rain, tomorrow will probably suck (humidity)…

Anyway… today’s top sports headlines in ol’ Japan.

As predicted – top story today is the AFC Asian Cup game last night where Japan drew with Qatar:

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Another DRAW??? Qatar holds Japan… (Asian Cup Football)

9 07 2007

Hard-hittin’ Asian Cup!A balmy night in My Dinh National Stadium, Ho Chi Minh City… and certainly not the result the current Asia Cup holders (Japan) were looking for, but after a 2nd half strike by Naohiro Takahara, Qatar came back and equalised with a late goal by the Uruguayan-born Sebastián Quintana.  And that was that… a fantastic result for Qatar, and a result that will ensure the Japanese daily papers are aflutter tomorrow.

So with 4 games down, that’s 3 1-1 draws (Thailand vs Iraq, Australia vs Oman, Japan vs Qatar). All three could be considered ‘upsets’ of a sort, as Iraq, Australia & Japan are all considered ‘Asian Powers’ in the footballing fraternity, and especially the Australian team (who only just lost to eventual winners Italy in last year’s World Cup), and Japan, who currently hold the Asian Cup title.AFC Asian Cup 2007

The only team to have actually won a game thus far is Vietnam, who defeated the more-highly-touted UAE, 2-0.

Tomorrow brings us the following games:

  • Indonesia vs Bahrain, in Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta (Indonesia)
  • Malaysia vs China, in National Stadium Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

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