Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Asian Games: Japan win maiden title; Koreans come third

Posted in Asian Football by peterbein on November 25, 2010

Asian Games LogoThe Asian Games football tournament concluded in the Chinese city of Ghangzhou today with a tense final which was eventually settled by a late Yuki Saneto strike to give Japan a maiden title. In the third place play-off, which took place directly before the final, South Korea were minutes away from losing to Iran only for a late double strike from Dong Won-Ji to give the Koreans the bronze medal.

In the third place play-off Iran started well and were worthy of their 2-0 lead at the end of the first half. Gholamreza Razaei gave Iran the lead after just five minutes with Ali Asgari doubling the advantage on the edge of half-time. The second half would provide many a thrill for the watching spectators as the goals flew in; Ja-Cheol Koo halved the deficit to 2-1 after 48 minutes only for Iran to restore their two goal lead sixty seconds later through Karim Ansarifard. As the game wore on it seemed the Iranians were going to hold out for the bronze but the Koreans came back again. Chu Young-Park pulled a goal back in the 78th minute to make the score 3-2 and, with just two minutes remaining, Dong Won-Ji performed his cameo with a brace in the dying moments to overturn the deficit and take a 4-3 lead as the game entered stoppage time. It was a great way to end the opening match of the day.

Japan went into the Gold Medal match against a United Arab Emirates side who had defied expectations to reach their first ever final. Perhaps this expectation weighed heavily on the UAE who were unable to break the stubborn resistance of a well organised Japanese side. The eventual champions had to wait a long time themselves before settling the contest in their favour. The winning goal was scored in the 74th minute by Yuki Saneto, whose strike gave his country a long awaited first tournament win in the Asian Games.

Asian Games: Japan and UAE through to the final

Posted in Asian Football by peterbein on November 24, 2010

Asian Games logoThe Asian Games football tournament Gold Medal match will see Japan and the United Arab Emirates fighting it out for the honours following their semi-final wins over Iran and South Korea respectively. The two losing semi-finalists will play off for the consolation of a bronze medal as a warm-up for the final which takes place tomorrow in Ghangzhou.

Japan had to come from behind in their 2-1 semi-final win over Iran and now have high hopes of winning their first ever Asian Games football title. The best that the Japanese have ever done in this tournament was a second place finish in the 2002 games in Busan, South Korea so Thursday’s final represents a great chance for Japan to finally win the gold. Arash Afshin gave Iran the lead after just six minutes but Kota Mizunuma restored parity seven minutes before the break. The decisive moment came on the hour mark as Japan’s Kensuke Nagai scored a wonderful winning goal, going past a couple of defenders before unleashing a shot low into the corner, which helped his country reach their second ever Asian Games football final.

In the other semi-final a penalty shoot-out seemed like a real possibility as the game between the United Arab Emirates and South Korea was goalless after 120 minutes of play. But, in stoppage time of second half extra-time, Ahmed Ali Alabry hit the crucial goal which put the UAE into the final. The middle eastern state has never won a medal of any colour at the Asian Games football tournament as they have never made the final four of any tournament going into this year’s games. What’s the betting that they will upset the odds and go all the way in their first final appearance?

Read Stoppage Time – International Football Blog to find out.

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Asian Games: Traditional powers through to semi-finals

Posted in Asian Football by peterbein on November 20, 2010

Asian Games 2010 logoFour of Asian football’s heavyweight nations have qualified for the semi-finals of the Asian Games football tournament, currently taking place in the Chinese city of Ghangzhou.

Uzbekistan, fresh from knocking defending champions Qatar out of the competition in a game featuring “that miss” from Fahad Khalfan, were once again taken into extra-time. This time they faced a South Korea team who were taken all the way but ultimately proved that their team was stronger and took advantage of the obvious tiredness that had beset the Uzbeks following two difficult encounters. Hong Jeong-Ho’s third minute opening goal for the Koreans was cancelled out in the 72nd minute by Sherzod Karimov and with no further scoring in regular time had to go to an extra thirty minutes. South Korea put the tie beyond doubt with two goals early in each half of added time with Park Chu-Young and Kim Bo-Kyung sealing the win. They will face the United Arab Emirates in the semi-finals after the Middle Eastern team had to go through the lottery of a penalty shoot-out following a goalless 120 minutes against North Korea. With both teams scoring each of their five penalties the shoot-out went into sudden death and each team traded three further successful spot kicks before North Korea’s Ri Chol-Myung missed their ninth kick, therefore allowing Mohamed Al-Shehhi to score the winning penalty and take the UAE through to the next round.

The other two semi-finalists also qualified having overcome difficult quarter-final matches. Japan, seen by many as the favourites to win the tournament, had Keigo Hagashi to thank as his goal on the edge of half-time against Thailand proved to be the difference between the two sides. The Japanese will face off against Iran in the last four as they also won by a 1-0 scoreline against Oman with Hamidreza Ali Asgari’s 42nd minute goal proving crucial. The two semi-final matches will be played on Tuesday, November 23rd with the final taking place just two days later. Keep in touch with Stoppage Time – International Football Blog for all of the action.

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Asian Games: Another Miss of the Year candidate (+video)

Posted in Asian Football by peterbein on November 17, 2010

The Asian Games football tournament has been underway in the Chinese city of Ghangzhou since November 7th and it has already reached its quarter-final stage which we will cover from this weekend here at Stoppage Time – International Football Blog. Only a few days since I posted a video of Francis Litsangi’s open goal miss in the Hungarian League, another contender for Miss of the Year comes from the Asian Games Round of 16 match between Qatar and Uzbekistan. With the game goalless as it entered second half stoppage time Qatar had a glorious chance to win the game when Fahad Khalfan rounded Uzbek goalkeeper Timur Juraev with the goal at his mercy. Alas, he hit the post when it was much easier to score and the Uzbeks were reprieved as they then went on to win the game in extra-time thanks to Ivan Nagaev’s 108th minute strike. Is this the Miss of the Year? Judge for yourself……

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