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 – The fall of Japan and South Korea

26 07 2007

Asian Cup 07So I don’t think I could’ve been more incorrect with my predictions on the 2 semi final games. My thoughts vs reality…

  • South Korea vs Iraq – I predicted a 3-2 win to South Korea… 0-0 scoreline, then Iraq winning 4-3 on penalties.
  • Japan vs Saudi Arabia – I stated I felt it would be a 2-1 win to Japan, and they fell short of that, the Saudis winning the game 3-2.

Iraq’s team wept with joy at their first ever trip to the finals of the Asian Cup, coming at the expense of South Korea. The first half saw Iraq with several opportunities squandered in front of goal – captain Younis Mahmoud missing twice, and Karrar Jassim missing a header that was sure to go in… However in the second half, the South Koreans put the pedal to the metal, going after the win, only the work of Iraqi goalkeeper Noor Sabri keeping the Iraq team in the game. South Korea continued to pepper at goal, and Noor was up to the task. At the end of regulation & extra time, Noor was still up to the task, Iraq winning on penalties. Read the rest of this entry »

Asian Cup – Playin’ with the big boys now

24 07 2007

Asian Cup… get that ballSo, I’m back from my lil’ country sojourn, and I’m well due to post some commentary on what’s been going on in the Asian Cup… so here goes!

  • Iraq 2 – Vietnam 0: well, I am not surprised with this result. Iraq have long been a good team in Asian football, and Vietnam are a relative newcomer. 2-0 is an accurate reflection of the distance between the two teams. Still, Vietnam’s had a good tourny, and will improve over the next few years.
  • Iran 0 – Sth Korea 0 (Sth Korea win on penalties 2:4) – again, no surprises. The only shock for me in regards to these teams was how slowly the South Korean boys started. A team with a real chance…
  • Saudi Arabia 2 – Uzbekistan 1: Impressive stuff by the Uzbekis to stay within striking distance of a real powerhouse team in the Saudis.
  • And with Japan’s (hurts me to say this) deserved win over Australia, the semi finals are set.

Semi-finals are on the 25th of July…

  1. South Korea vs Iraq (6:20pm, National Stadium Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur) – should be a good game, but if the South Korean team can continue their current form, I think they’ll run out winners. Both teams attack well, so I’m predicting a 3-2 scoreline.
  2. Japan vs Saudi Arabia (8:20pm, My Dinh National Stadium, Hanoi) – a damn good game here. I think Japan have the goods, but it will be close. The Saudis have flair, but I think the Blue-boys will win 2-1.

That will mean we’ll be faced with a South Korea vs Japan final, and as far as drama… it just doesn’t get any better.

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AFC Asian Cup – last of the rounds. Next, quarters…

19 07 2007

Asian Cup 07So the last games of the regular rounds were played last night (sorry about no updates – I was at the baseball). Here are the results:

  • China were beaten by Uzbekistan, 3-0. This loss eliminates China.
  • Saudi Arabia beat Bahrain, 4-0.
  • South Korea beat Indonesia 1-0. This win, and Bahrain’s loss, eliminates Bahrain, and South Korea squeeze through!
  • Iran beat Malaysia 2-0. Malaysia immediately sack their coach, Norizan Bakar.

So, the teams that qualify for the Quarter finals are set. They are as follows:

  • From Pool A, Iraq & Australia
  • From Pool B, Japan & Vietnam
  • From Pool C, Iran & Uzbekistan
  • From Pool D, Saudi Arabia & South Korea

AFC Asian Cup 2007This means the quarters shape up as:

  1. Iraq vs Vietnam (21/7/07, 20:20 at Rajamangala National Stadium, Bangkok)
  2. Iran vs South Korea (22/7/07, 18:20 at National Stadium Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur)
  3. Japan vs Australia (21/7/07, 17:20 at My Dinh National Stadium, Hanoi)
  4. Saudi Arabia vs Uzbekistan (22/7/07, 20:20 at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta)

Some fantastic matches coming up… (all matches given in local times)

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Uzbekistan thrashes Malaysia… (Asian Cup)

14 07 2007

AFC Asian Cup…National Stadium Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur – Ouch.

Malaysia’s woes entered a new level now, tonight getting absolutely HAMMERED for the second time in two games losing to Uzbekistan 5-0. Sloppy defense by the home team meant that by half time, the Uzbeks had raced out to a 3-0 lead, and the game was over. Two goals late in the second half were just pouring salt on the Malaysian wounds. Malaysia have one more chance, against Iran, to try & salvage some pride.

The other game tonight finished with Saudi Arabia 2 – Indonesia 1 (apologies, I do not have access to more information, but I will update as it becomes available!)…

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Following suit: South Korea draw with Saudi Arabia 1-1 (AFC Asian Cup 07)

12 07 2007

Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta, Indonesia – This was a game that the South Korean side would be very disappointed to have lost. Firstly, the Saudi goal came off a very debatable penalty awarded by Australian referee Mark Shields to Yasser Al Qahtani, the Saudi Captain. Asian Cup 07Secondly, the power went out in the stadium with 5 minutes to go, and it was a good 25 minutes before it was restored and play could resume.

The Korean side had a massive scare from the Saudis in the opening minutes, Al Qahtani just missing a header off a beautiful cross from Malek Maaz. The South Koreans settled, and the game became a midfield battle. At the 66th minute, Choi Sung-kuk scored the goal that initially put South Korea ahead. Just prior to the blackout, Al Qahtani scored the equalizer… after play resumed, neither side truly threatened.

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