Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Qatar 2011 winners & losers
by Paul Kennedy, January 20th, 2011 10:31PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  asian cup, australia, south korea

MOST COMMENTED

[ASIAN CUP] As the the lone national team competition of the winter and the first competition hosted by Qatar since it was awarded the 2022 World Cup, the 2011 Asian Cup has been in the international spotlight. As it moves into the quarterfinals on Friday and Saturday, here's a look at the winners and losers so far ...

WINNERS

Iran was the only team to win all three group games, including a 2-1 win over neighbor Iraq that sent it through to the semifinals. Iran's first-place finish in Group D set up a date with South Korea in the most-anticipated of the four quarterfinal matches, a must-win game, according to Iran coach Afshin Ghotbi. He spent the early part of his career working in California but then spent seven years in South Korea as an assistant in the national team program. "I am expecting a wonderful match and I hope the world too are ready for one of the most exciting matches in Asian soccer," Ghotbi said. "A lot of times coaches are facing a team from their country of birth while we are seeing many, many times where a coach like myself comes up against a team where they worked with."

Frenchman Bruno Metsu is much like Bora Milutinovic or Gus Hiddink, a mercenary with a reputation for leading national teams to new heights. After Qatar's 2-0 loss in its opening against Uzbekistan, things looked bleak for the host country, but Metsu didn't panic and Qatar responded with wins over China (2-0) and Kuwait (3-0) to match its best performance ever by reaching the quarterfinals.

Like in its only previous appearance at the Asian Cup in 2004, Jordan has reached the quarterfinals, going unbeaten with wins over Saudi Arabia and Syria and a tie with favored Japan in its opening game.

Mark Schwarzer has been the best goalkeeper at the Asian Cup, helping the Socceroos win Group C ahead of South Korea and avoid Iran in the quarterfinals. They will instead face defending champion Iraq in the quarterfinals, where they will be the favorite. A victory is essential for Australia, which fell in the quarterfinals four years ago in its first appearance at the Asian championships.

LOSERS

Attendance has been poor at the Asian Cup. If you throw out the crowds for the three Qatar games, the tournament has averaged only 8,161 fans a game. It should be noted, though, that unlike the Gold Cup, Copa America and African Cup of Nations, the Asian Cup does not play doubleheaders.

Saudi Arabia lost all three games, resulting in the firing of not one, but two coaches, first Jose Peseiro. after the opening game, then Nasser Al Johar (coaching the national team for the fifth time) after the third game. Also fired was Prince Sultan Bin Fahd, the president of the Saudi Football Federation.

North Korea was the only one of the four 2010 World Cup finalists to go out in the first round. In fact, it didn't score a goal in three games. North Korea coach Jo Tong Sop was surprisingly upbeat afterward -- his predecessor, Kim Jong Hun, was accused of treason after North Korea exited the 2010 World Cup against much more difficult competition -- telling reporters his team had a "good experience" during its first appearance at the Asian competition since 1992.

Making its first appearance in 27 years, India exited quickly, losing all three games and conceding a tournament-high 13 goals. Interest in soccer is picking up in India -- the All India Football Federation recently signed a $140 million marketing deal covering 15 years -- so the poor showing was a disappointment.



No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: CMN Sports    
"As an organization, CMN Sports takes pride in providing some of the most exhilarating soccer matches ...
Road to Russia: Belize survives Caymans' scare    
Belize, Nicaragua, Bermuda and Dominica wrapped up series victories in the first round of World Cup ...
Video Pick: A 60-yard goal from young Belgian     
Marco Weymans, a 17-year-old Belgian who plays for Dutch club PSV, scored from his own half ...
Europe in a Nutshell: Big week for the British Isles     
An international break for Euro 2016 qualifying in the pursuit of Paris: Reviewing an interesting week ...
Freddie Adu signs with Finnish club KuPS    
Freddy Adu has signed a one-year contract with Finnish club KuPS, the 11th club in 12 ...
Morris replace Johannsson on U.S. roster    
The second forward is the snake-bitten position on the U.S. national team's trip to Europe. After ...
MLS Week 4: Results & Standings    
Real Salt Lake remained one of four unbeaten teams in MLS when it beat Toronto FC, ...
USL Week 2: Results & Standings    
The new Roughnecks celebrated the return of pro soccer to Tulsa a sellout crowd of 8,335 ...
USA romps in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 5-2     
The U.S. team preparing for Olympic qualifying defeated Bosnia-Herzegovina's under-21 team, 5-2, in a friendly played ...
MLS Week 4: FC Dallas puts its perfect record on line    
FC Dallas, the only remaining unbeaten and untied team in MLS, hosts the 2014 Supporters' Shield ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives