This is a sort-of brief update on the group stages of the 2011 Qatar Asian Cup. (If you haven’t been tuning in, then start tuning in... NOW.) It’s been pretty exciting and surprising so far! Care to have a guess at which nations went through to the next round? If one of your answers was "Australia", then you are correct and you may collect your free koala at the exit when you leave the stadium.
2011 Qatar Asian Cup Round Up
Qatar lands a surprise 2 - 0 win against China. Kuwait, expected to do fairly well, was out with a surprise early exit. The ever-improving Uzbekistan battled the unfortunate China in a tense 2-2 draw. Doubters of the Qatar national team can take a seat - these boys are through to the next round!
Heavyweight Japan surprisingly struggled against Jordan and Syria before unleashing a merciless 5 - 0 thrashing against Saudi Arabia. Said three-time champions (and runners-up from the last tournament) Saudi Arabia made a shock early exit, and had also fired their coach after their first loss, a 1 - 2 against Syria. Jordan and Syria were close contenders for the second-place slot before Jordan pulled through.
The group with the most goals scored overall. Australia gave India a 4 - 0 thrashing for a comfortable opening match, although some expected the goal difference to be rather higher. An intense battle between Australia and South Korea (seen as some as “the final before the final”) saw a 1 - 1 draw for the giants. Bahrain’s Ismaeel Abdulatif scored 4 goals against India in a 5 - 2 win.
The group of death, and the group with the least goals scored overall. Iran is the only team of the group stages that has not dropped any points, with three straight wins. North Korea and the UAE failed to score a goal in all three of their matches, with heavyweights Iraq and Iran eventually pulling through to the next round.
Australia will meet old foes Iraq in the quarter-final round with the memory of their last encounter, a 3 - 1 loss to Iraq (2007 Asian Cup), still fresh in the Socceroos’ minds. (Socceroos, if you lose, I will cry. I will gorge myself on 2-litre tubs of double-choc ice cream. FOR A WEEK. It will not be a pretty sight, I promise you. ;_;) Asian Cup big-names Iran and South Korea will clash in what will no doubt be an intense match. Japan v Qatar and Uxbekistan v Jordan are sure to be just as exciting.
Aaaaand that pretty much concludes this round-up. If you have something to add to this, please let me know! :D
Badass head-banging bird thanks you for your time.
Source: AFC Website (Schedules & Results)
BTWWWWW: Hi mods! Requesting an "asian cup" or "afc asian cup" tag, please! :) Unless it's already there and I'm just blind. :(