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
Qatar 2011 winners & losers
by Paul Kennedy, January 20th, 2011 10:31PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

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 Metsuis 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 Schwarzerhas 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 wasPrince 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
MLS Countdown: Kaka recalled by Brazil for Centenario    
The announcement came a day too late to benefit the Philadelphia Union, but Orlando City midfielder ...
U.S. Abroad: Gonzalez's Pachuca has edge in Liga MX final    
Omar Gonzalez, who was passed over for a spot on the U.S. Copa Centenario team, started ...
BeIN Sports adds special Copa Centenario coverage    
One vital aspect of soccer's increased television exposure is how events are treated by non-rights holders ...
USA-Bolivia: Spotlight on Pulisic's bid for starting job    
Christian Pulisic has already impressed his coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, enough that he's in contention to start ...
What They're Saying: Jozy Altidore    
"When Haiti qualified, I just thought it'd be a cool thing, because they haven't qualified for ...
TV Report: Fox network twinbill draws 1,613,000 viewers    
Last Saturday's FA Cup-MLS doubleheader on Fox reached a combined 1,613,000 viewers. Manchester United's 2-1 overtime ...
Concacaf turns to NBA for new CEO    
In another step to rehabilitate itself after five years of scandal, Concacaf hired Philippe Moggio out ...
Women's players' strike motions go to judge for decision    
Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman took under advisement competing motions for summary judgment made by attorneys for ...
USL: Lou City's Goodwin off to Harvard Medical School    
Goalkeeper Scott Goodwin announced that he's leaving USL club Louisville City FC to attend Harvard Medical ...
Video Pick: Neymar, his wax figure, and 31 Barca goals    
Brazil star Neymar met his Madame Tussauds wax figure -- poked it, checked under the shirt, ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives