Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Australia guards against complacency
by Ian Plenderleith, November 18th, 2008 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[WORLD CUP 2010 QUALIFYING] The fourth round of games in Asia's final qualifying phase takes place Wednesday. Australia travels to Bahrain in Group 1, hoping to keep its 100 percent record intact. In Group 2, South Korea will attempt to beat Saudi Arabia for the first time in almost two decades.
 
GROUP ONE
Wednesday November 19 (all times ET)
Bahrain vs. Australia (10 am)
Qatar vs. Japan (11:30 am)
Standings: Australia (6 points), Japan (4), Qatar (4), Bahrain (1), Uzbekistan (1)
 
Australia travels to Bahrain with six points from two games, five goals scored, none conceded, and is the only team in the region still with a 100 percent record. But the team is aware that there are no easy games in Asian qualification, unlike in its old stomping ground of Oceania.
 
"I think this is going to be a very tough game," said Australian captain Lucas Neill in the Sydney Morning Herald. "Obviously the fact we've put ourselves out in front now, we're there to be beaten. There won't be a chance for complacency because the manager [Pim Verbeek] and I won't allow it. We're here to win another game, and if we can win that game then what a fantastic position we'll be in."
 
Japan is also unbeaten, but with four points out of a possible six, and travels to Qatar, which has the same number of points but has played one game more. Qatar collapsed 4-0 to the Australians last month, and the Japanese will want to capitalize on the home team's bruised confidence. Glasgow Celtic's Shunsuke Nakamura remains an injury doubt for Japan -- the midfielder has flown out for the game, despite aggravating a knee problem in club action at the weekend, but it's unclear if he will be fit in time to play.
 
GROUP TWO
Wednesday November 19
United Arab Emirates vs. Iran (10:15 am)
Saudi Arabia vs. South Korea (11:35 am, live on Fox Soccer Channel)
Standings: South Korea (4 points), Iran (4), Saudi Arabia (4), North Korea (4), United Arab Emirates (0).
 
The United Arab Emirates has lost both of its first two games, and both were at home, so beating Iran in its own stadium Wednesday is an absolute must if it wants to remain in contention. The Iranians, though, are unbeaten so far and share the lead on points with three other countries. It picked up a useful road point in Saudi Arabia in its opening game, before beating North Korea last month in Tehran, 2-1.
 
In the group's second game, live on FSC, both Saudi Arabia and South Korea are also unbeaten after two games. Both their wins so far have come at the expense of the UAE. South Korea welcomes veteran goalkeeper Lee Woon-Jae, 35, back into the squad following his one-year ban from the national team for a nightclub incident. The keeper has been in great form for his club, the Suwon Bluewings, helping them to the regular season title by conceding just 27 goals in 37 games.
 
The South Koreans have not beaten the Saudis for 19 years, during qualifying for the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
 
Format: The top two teams from each group will qualify directly for South Africa 2010. The third-placed teams from each group will play a home-and-away playoff, with the winner advancing to the inter-confederation play-off with Oceania winner New Zealand.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
USL: Roughnecks hire Vaudreuil as head coach    
David Vaudreuil, who started all five playoff games on D.C. United's 1997 MLS championship team, was ...
MLS Expansion: LAFC links up with OC    
LAFC, slated to begin play in MLS in 2018, has reached an agreement with the USL's ...
MLS Moves: 'Caps decline option on captain Morales    
After struggling with injuries the past two seasons, Chilean Pedro Morales has been officially cut loose ...
What They're Saying: Ashtone Morgan    
"It got to a point where it was harder to play at home than away." -- ...
MLS Moves: 'Burrito' is no longer on the RSL menu    
In 2017 at Rio Tinto Stadium the only place to get a burrito will be at ...
MLS Rewind: Mid-season splurges prove tricky    
One of the strongest arguments for MLS switching seasons from a spring-to-fall to fall-to-spring calendar isn't ...
MLS Cup Countdown: Newcomers deliver for finalists    
Neither the Seattle Sounders nor Toronto FC would likely be in the 2016 MLS Cup without ...
Video Pick: Terrific volley for Porto by Mexico's 'Tecatito'    
Mexico's 23-year-old Jesus "Tecatito" Corona scored Porto's second goal in a 5-0 UEFA Champions League win ...
USMNT: Arena meets Bundesliga quintet    
Less than two weeks after taking the job, new U.S. national team coach Bruce Arena has ...
MLS Moves: Hedges signs new deal with FC Dallas    
Keeping a successful team together can be a challenge in MLS, and rather let the contract ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives