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The Asian Cup thread [R]


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The Asian Cup, hosted by China, began last Friday. It really snuck up on me since I thought (well, assumed) that it was going to be played in the fall.

Anyway, here are the results so far --- I don't know much about these teams (especially the rosters for this tournament), but there are quite a few surprises here:

Group A

China 2 Bahrain 2

Qatar 1 Indonesia 2

Group B

South Korea 0 Jordan 0

Kuwait 3 United Arab Emirates 1

Group C

Saudi Arabia 2 Turkmenistan 2

Iraq 0 Uzbekistan 1

Group D

Kicks off Tuesday:

Japan vs. Oman

Iran vs. Thailand

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Guest Jeffery S.

Very surprising results. China has taken a lot of flack for that draw. Turkmenistan is new to the scene and that is also a surprise (though I suspect that all of the ex-Soviets will be strong, eventually at least, since they have inherited a strong sports mentality and structure).

The coach of Jordan came out stating that his side were the "Greece of Asia" or something like that. Think it is a Brit. Well, that result is very good, so maybe he knows his players (little country too, a couple million inhabitants only).

Add to the mix Indonesia. Just in terms of mere size, Indonesia has to be the next Asian country to emerge strong, since India doesn't ever seem to want to.

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Speaking of Indonesia, DOZENS of people showed up for that game between Qatar and Indonesia. Considering the nations involved, you could probably generate a bigger crowd if you organized a picnic and invited all the siblings of the players from these two teams (hmm... lets see ... 11 kids per family mulitplied by 46 players ... ah, its too early in the morning for this) .

Apparently the other games had horrible attendance too.

It came up in another thread why this World Cup host-rotation scheme will never work. This tournament is a further example in that it proves Oceania and South America are not the only regions that have only one possible host. Asia also only has one host option (which is Japan & Korea co-hosting). I wonder how much longer the myth that Asians are football-crazy will last ...

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quote:Originally posted by Dante79

Does it play on tv in Canada??

As far as I know the only channel showing it is LBC America which is on the Dish network. I think you need a grey-market system in Canada for that channel.

I wonder if its on TV in China!?

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quote:Originally posted by Dante79

Does it play on tv in Canada??



Too much saturation of soccer this summer. TLN has the last two phases of the Copa yet, the full "Championsworld- Europe" Series will be on Sportsnet (starting with Chelsea-Celtic on Saturday), and FSWC has the MLS and continuing Euro 2004 reruns. Who's gonna watch the world's 5th rated regional championship? Poor timing of the Asian championships. They should have it in January the year after the WC, to avoid conflict with other global events and its own WCQ's (have the host and the 4-5 qualifiers for the WC get byes, and hold the qualifying after the previous WCQ's for the rest).

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quote:Originally posted by Dante79

and what channel is LBC AMERICA ON DISH?????

644: LBC America (Arabic)

760: LBC America (Arabic)





PanAmSat 5, 58West

Tp Pol Symbol Package Scrambled Dish Size

4.120 V 27500 ART America & Movies & Australia & Latino, LBC America & Australia, Al Jazeera, Rai America & Australia





LyngSat Packages

DISH Network on EchoStar 9 at 121.0°W

760 20 LBC America Nagravision 1

Nagravision 2 Conus P Smith






PAS 9 -- C Band -- 58 W

Freq. Pol IF (KHz) SR (KHz) FEC Program

4120 V-O 1030000 27500 3/4 ART America - Arabic

ART Australia _ Arabic (PAL)

ART Movies - Arabic

ART Latino - Arabic

LBC America - Arabic

LBC Australia - Arabic (PAL)

Al Jazeera - Arabic

ESC1 - Egypt Satellite Channel

RAI International America

RAI International Australia (PAL)

AUDIO -Radio Al Ddikr, Music



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I hope Kuwait wins although we got a horrible team compared to the previous years.. (i know we never had a good team before but still this is too bad :P).. we were really lucky to beat the UAE 3-1.. If kuwait really deserved the win, it'll show in the next game with Jordan... so far the team with the best performance has been Bahrain :) Iran too..

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Guest Jeffery S.
quote:Originally posted by argh1

The final 8 seem pretty well set :

China , Bahrain , South Korea , Jordan , Uzbekistan , Iraq , Japan and Iran or Oman last game in group d to-morrow.


As I mentioned Jordan's coach said they were the Greece of Asia. Let's see what they can do.

Hitmann, of all the Gulf States who has the best league? I mean, I know all these top Europeans are going to Qatar, but is it really the strongest for clubs?

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Final Group Games today: Japan 0- Iran 0 , Oman 2- Thailand 0

(so unfortunately the sleazy iranian team scrapes thru)



Asian Cup quarter-final draw

BEIJING, July 28 (Reuters) - Draw for the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup soccer tournament after completion of the group stage:

Friday, July 30 QF2-Uzbekistan v Bahrain (1000) Chengdu QF1-China v Iraq (1300) Beijing

Saturday, July 31 QF4-Japan v Jordan (1000) Chongqiing QF3-South Korea v Iran (1300) Jinan

- - - -


Tuesday, August 3 W-QF2 v W-QF4 (1000) Jinan W-QF1 v W-QF3 (1300) Beijing

- - - -

Third place playoff

Friday, August 6 (1200) Beijing

- - - -


Saturday, August 7 (1200) Beijing

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Today's Q-F Results

China 3 Iraq 0 - result


Hao Haidong 8, Zheng Zhi 81 pen, 90+3 pen

Red card: Ahmed Ali (Iraq) 90+1

Halftime: 1-0 Attendance: 62,000

Uzbekistan 2 Bahrain 2 - result (after extra time)

Bahrain win 4-3 on penalties


Uzbekistan - Alexander Geynrikh 60, Vladimir Shishelov 87

Bahrain - A'ala Hubail 71, 77

Halftime: 0-0

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Just a fun bit o' fluff from our friends at Reuters......



Will the real Beckham please stand up!

By Alastair Himmer

BEIJING, July 30 (Reuters) - David Beckham, Roberto Carlos and Fabien Barthez are not players you would normally expect to see at the Asian Cup.

However, no team has left home without one this year.

The "Beckham of Uzbekistan," the "Roberto Carlos of Iraq" and the "Barthez of Indonesia" have all been in action in China.

There are plenty more where they came from, Thailand claiming to have their own Zico while tiny Bahrain even have a Pele up their sleeve.

The Asian Cup has traditionally struggled for attention, clashing with the European Championship and Olympic Games in the same year.

But the name games being played by some teams at the 2004 Asian Cup have helped prevent the tournament from slipping off the radar completely.

Uzbekistan captain Mirdjalal Kasimov has arguably made the biggest impact among the "wannabe" superstars.

He may not have a pop star wife, his own logo or a collection of dodgy sarongs, but Kasimov has already scored two exquisite free kicks that England captain Beckham would be proud of.

Kasimov has been the "Captain Marvel" of the Asian Cup, propelling Uzbekistan into the quarter-finals.

The worst team at the 2000 Asian Cup, Uzbekistan were the only side to win all three group games this year -- largely down to the 33-year-old Kasimov.


Looks-wise, Kasimov and Beckham are worlds apart. Kasimov does not trouble the barbers of Tashkent for more than a sensible short back and sides -- no shampoo needed.

But on the pitch, Kasimov possesses a flair not normally associated with a team humiliated 8-1 by Japan and 5-0 by Saudi Arabia in Lebanon four years ago.

He even talks like Beckham.

"We are just taking it one game at a time," he said, proving that football-speak truly is universal. "It has been terrific for us to come this far."

Plucky Iraq, who have overcome extreme hardship to reach the Asian Cup quarter-finals, boast their very own Roberto Carlos clone, left-back Bassim Abbas.

With his shaved head and quick feet, his likeness to the Brazilian is striking, although his propensity to dive in and pick up yellow cards is more reminiscent of ex-England international Stuart Pearce.

However, Barthez lookalike Hendro Kartiko took much of the blame after Indonesia crashed out of the tournament in the first round.

Perhaps more worthy of note than the bald goalkeeper is the Pele of Bahrain, striker Husain Ali, who has scored two goals to lead the Gulf side to the last eight.


Missing the tournament through injury was the Zico of Thailand -- or the artist formerly known as Kiatisuk Senamuang.

He was hardly missed, however, as the real Zico, now coaching Asian Cup holders Japan, turned up in his place.

Asia does not, of course, have a monopoly on dubious nicknames. Europe has a few of its own, many of them relating to Argentine great Diego Maradona.

Albania's Edvin Murati is the Maradona of the Balkans, Turkey's Emre Belozoglu is the Maradona of the Bosphorus, while Gheorghe Hagi was the Maradona of the Carpathians.

Other nicknames are less ambitious.

Southampton striker Marian Pahars has, curiously, been labelled the Georgi Kinkladze of the Baltic.

There is no lack of ambition at the Asian Cup, however, where Jordan have been trying to convince everyone that they are the "Greece of Asia."

Before the start of the tournament the Asian Football Confederation promised "star quality" and it has delivered -- in a manner of speaking.

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Todays' Results:

Japan 1- Jordan 1 (Japan wins on PK's , 4-3, after OT)

Iran 4- South Korea 3

Looks like the ref in the Japan win pulled a real bizarro by having

a switch of ends after the first two penalty kicks due to supposed field condition issues with Japan. Sounds like supreme oneupmanship to me. The ref's decision was probably legal, but highly unusual and probably he should be censured.


Tuesday, August 3 -Bahrain v Japan (1000) Jinan

-China v Iran (1300) Beijing

Looks like the Bejing match will take on a WWF feel, with Iran as the bad guys.


Japan into Asian Cup semis after shoot-out drama as Iran win thriller

July 31, 2004

BEIJING (AFP) - Holders Japan and three-time champions Iran battled into the last four of the Asian Cup here after winning quarter-final matches bristling with controversy and goals.

Japan set up a semi-final meeting with underdogs Bahrain on Tuesday after winning an extraordinary penalty shoot-out 4-3 against tournament debutants Jordan, who were left fuming after the defeat.

Iran meanwhile -- whose campaign was left in tatters last week after three players were hit with suspension for ill-discipline -- edged World Cup semi-finalists South Korea 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller.

The Iranians had inspirational playmaker Ali Karimi to thank for their victory, the talented attacking midfielder scoring a virtuoso hat-trick to send his team into a semi-final against hosts China.

But though Iran and South Korea's pulsating game had everything, the story of the night was in Chongqing, where Japan won on sudden death penalties after being held to 1-1 by Jordan in extra-time.

The shoot-out exploded into controversy after Japan demanded a switch of ends after missing their opening two spot-kicks, citing the condition of the pitch as being to blame.

Jordan subsequently squandered three penalties that would have won them the match after Malaysian referee Mohd Subkhiddin ordered the change of goals, Japan keeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi twice saving superbly.

Jordan coach Mahmoud Al-Gohary said the decision to switch goals had cost his team the match, which was watched by the Middle Eastern country's football-fan monarch King Abdullah II.

"We needed to have the players full concentration when they are doing the penalty kicks, but the referee switched the goals and we lost our concentration," said Al-Gohary.

"I have never seen the switch of the goal mouths in the penalty kicks just because the other side demanded it," Al-Gohary said. "We tried to move it back but they said no."

Al-Gohary's Japan counterpart Zico admitted the switch of goals was unprecedented in his career.

"I've never seen a referee change sides during the penalty shoot-out, but the referee is the final judge and we should obey his decision," Zico said.

Asian Football Confederation officials told AFP that damage to the penalty spot on the disputed side led to the decision to change sides.

Japanese skipper Tsuneyasu Miyamoto requested the change after star playmaker Shunsuke Nakamura and Brazilian-born wingback Alex blazed their opening penalties over the bar after appearing to lose their footing.

The match had gone to penalties after an absorbing 120 minutes of football saw the two sides locked at 1-1, Japan striker Takayuki Suzuki's 14th-minute goal cancelling out Jordan's early headed opener by Mahmoud Shelbaieh.

In Jinan, Karimi's third goal on 77 minutes finally put paid to some dogged resistance from South Korea, who had three times come back from a goal down.

South Korea had threatened to pull off the greatest of escapes after Park Jin-Sub's own goal early in the second half, with defender Kim Nam-Il's speculative shot levelling the scores at 3-3 with 20 minutes to go.

But Karimi, whose first-half double had ignited the quarter-final, managed to get on the end of a free kick from Asian Player of the Year Mehdi Mahdavikia to settle the encounter.

Karimi put Iran ahead after just 10 minutes, nodding past Korean 'keeper Lee Woon-Jae after Hossein Kaebi hooked across the face of goal.

But South Korea hit back just six minutes later as Seol Ki-Hyeon volleyed home a Park Ji-Sung cross from close range.

Karimi placed another downward header past Lee before tournament top-scorer Lee Dong-Gook tucked away a left-footed volley from a deflected cross on 25 minutes.

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With the way all the teams are playing right now, I myself think that currently this is Iran's tournament to lose. China may be a home, and has indeed made great strides, but I think Iran is still a level above them. Bahrain is still an also-ran in Asia and their lack of size (re: small population base) means that they will always be behind nations like Japan, South Korea, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Uzbekistan. I think Bahrain is still even a step behind other Gulf states like Qatar and the UAE. Japan's shoot-out victory over Jordan isn't very awe-inspiring either.

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Semi Match Articles from AFP

Japan 4-3 Bahrain (AET)

China 1-1 Iran (4-3 on penalties AET)


Champions Japan into Asian Cup final after Bahrain thriller

August 3, 2004

JINAN, China (AFP) - A superb extra-time goal from Keiji Tamada saw Japan through to the Asian Cup final as the defending champions battled back from twice going a goal behind and a controversial red card to beat minnows Bahrain 4-3.

Tamada's second of the thrilling semi-final, three minutes into extra time, came after defender Japan Yuji Nakazawa had equalised with a diving header with just seconds remaining of normal play.

The Kashiwa Reysol forward wriggled past Mohamed Juma and Bahrain captain Faisal Abdulaziz before shrugging off defender Hussain Baba to plant a right-footed shot past keeper Ali Saeed, sparking wild celebrations on the Japan bench.

Japan now have the chance to defend their title in Saturday's final, their third in 12 years, against the winners of China and Iran who play later Tuesday.

Tamada's effort completed a roller-coaster encounter which saw the lead change hands four times.

Bahrain, population 680,000, had looked to have one foot in the final when substitute Duaij Nasser pounced for his second of the tournament with just five minutes remaining.

However, Nakazawa's header earned 10-man Japan a reprieve allowing Tamada to complete the turnaround.

Tournament top-scorer A'ala Hubail, who had already netted twice, went agonisingly close to taking the game to penalties but inexplicably mistimed his tap-in to an empty goal.

Hubail had earlier ignited an incident-packed match after burying a right-footed shot past Japan's keeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi on six minutes.

The goal stung Japan into action, with most of their moves coming through Alex Santos down the left wing. Striker Takayuki Suzuki missed an open goal from an Alex cross and Shunsuke Nakamura should have done better with another dangerous ball from the Brazilian-born wing-back.

Japan's cause was dealt a serious blow when Endo was given his marching orders after brushing past Mohamad Salmeen, who went down clutching his face.

But the defending champions, severely weakened by injuries and Olympics call-ups, hit back after the break when Nakata rose at the near post to head in a corner.

Tamada was given space to rifle a right-footed shot past Ali Saeed just minutes later.

Bahrain pressed their man advantage with Mohamad Al Wadaei setting up A'ala Hubail for his fifth of the tournament with just 20 minutes to go.

Substitute Nasser, the Bahraini league's top-scorer, notched his second of the campaign to spark joy on the Gulf team's bench with five minutes to go.

However, the celebrations proved premature as defender Nakazawa put his diving header past Saeed with just seconds remaining of normal time.

Bahrain, playing in just their second Asian Cup, were also reduced to ten men when Al Wadaei was red-carded for a foul on Nakamura in extra-time.


China down Iran to make first Asian Cup final in 20 years

August 3, 2004

BEIJING (AFP) - China squeezed through to their first Asian Cup final in 20 years, downing 10-man Iran in a dramatic penalty shootout to set up a mouthwatering showdown against arch rivals Japan.

In a nailbiting finish, Chinese goalkeeper Liu Yunfei proved the hero, blocking a spot kick by Yahya Golmohammadi to send the hosts through 4-3 after the game ended 1-1 after extra time.

China were striving to beat Iran for the first time in a decade, and it is an indication of how far they have come under Dutch coach Arie Haan that they have managed it.

They are now unbeaten in 19 games stretching back to December 2003.

But China were made to fight, failing to capitalise on Iranian defender Sattar Zare's dismissal early in the second half for shoving midfield dynamo Shao Jiayi on the chest.

And they were on the verge of defeat when Zhao Junzhe missed the target in the penalty shootout before Eman Mobati did the same to put the two teams back level, leaving Liu to save the day.

China opened the scoring in the 19th minute when Shao broke down the middle and fed a ball through to the ever dangerous Hao Haidong.

The veteran centre forward shook off a challenge before squaring the ball back to Shao who made no mistake from 12 metres out.

The host nation suffered a setback six minutes later when Hao was stretchered off after colliding with Iranian goalkeeper Ebrahim Mirzapour.

He left the pitch covered in blood from a head injury, opening the door for Manchester City's Sun Jihai, itching for match time after spending most of the tournament on the bench.

Sun took up position in attack and rather than sit in their haunches China pressed forward. They could have had a second with 28 minutes on the clock when captain Li Weifeng's powerful header grazed the crossbar.

But Iran have shown they are not a team to roll over, staging a remarkable turnaround from their early tournament troubles that saw three players suspended for fighting and stamping against Oman.

And Sayyed Alavi brought them level seven minutes from the break, sidefooting past keeper Liu from 25 yards after picking up a pass from Ali Karimi, Iran's hat-trick hero against South Korea .

Iran though saw their hopes dealt a setback soon after the second half started when Sattar Zare was given his marching orders.

The 22-year-old was so distraught he left the pitch in tears.

In a pulsating second 45 minutes, China made the most of the man advantage, dominating midfield but lacking the final killer touch.

And Iran came close to taking the spoils in the last minute of full time, Ali Badavi skewing a shot wide with just Liu to beat.

China's Li Jinyu had a chance for his own moment of glory seconds later but he skied his effort over the Iranian bar from close range.

Earlier, Sayyed Alavi, who had been substituted, was sent off the bench for arguing.

Japan earlier beat Bahrain 4-3 after extra time in Jinan.

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