FIBA Asia – Japan knocked down by South Korea!

2 08 2007

Yee-HAAASth Korea were able to pick up a decisive victory against Japan, defeating the hosts (for their second straight defeat) 93-83. Japan are struggling on the ropes now, but they still have a chance (tho’ quite lessened) of making the next round.

In other matches on Day 5…

  • China thumped Indonesia 102-47
  • Philippines beat up on India 104-69
  • Syria whalloped Kuwait 109-69
  • Hong Kong beat UAE 87-64
  • Jordan beat Kazakhstan 82-73
  • Lebanon had a training run on Chinese Taipei 95-64
  • Iraq defeated Qatar 95-87

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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 »

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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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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Asian Cup stuff… China draw with Iran, and Bahrain win one!

16 07 2007

Hard-hittin’ Asian Cup!

National Stadium Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur – So this end result eliminates Malaysia, but that was only a matter of time anyway… But Iran managed to hold China to a draw – and that’s what it was: China threatened all night, and Iran defended valiantly. China were on the attack from the get-go, and in the 6th minute Shao Jiayi netted one off a penalty. At the 33 minute mark China got their second when Mao Jianqing slammed one home.

Shamed into action, facing a slaughter – the Iranians came to life. Mahdavikia slipped a goal through at the end of the first half, and there was a glimmer of hope. The Iran boys attacked, and attacked, and the Chinese calmly absorbed the pressure – On the 73rd minute, Nekounam headed a fantastic goal home. End result: 2-2.

Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta – Bahrain finally got their win with a 2-1 win over South Korea. Bahrain stunned the two-time champion, getting the winner off Ismail Abdullatif. South Korea started well, and goaled at the 4 minute mark – Kim Do-heon sliding it home. Just prior to half time, Salman Isa leveled the show, and got the winner at the 85 minute mark.

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