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… 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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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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Asian Cup 07 – Vietnam defeats UAE

9 07 2007

We worship football…Hanoi – Vietnam stunned Gulf Cup holders United Arab Emirates on Sunday, presenting them with a 2-0 loss. 2 rapid goals in the second half brought about the shock defeat. UAE were clearly stronger in the first half, but failed to make anything of the advantage. The home side made the most of a terrible mix-up in the UAE defense, and Thanh slotted home a goal in the 63rd minute. 10 minutes later Vinh doubled the advantage, scoring off a beautiful lobbed shot.

This win would definitely be considered the upset, and really makes things interesting in Group B.

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