Asian Cup 2019 - games not involving Australia

The tournament starts early in the morning on 6 January. Probably a good idea to have a thread to discuss all of it.

Group A:

Group B:

Group C:
South Korea

Group D:

Group E:
North Korea
Saudi Arabia

Group F:

I’d be surprised if this Asian Cup is much more than a circus until the quarter finals in terms of competitiveness. There are a couple of interesting games in the group stages (Iran vs Iraq, South Korea vs China) but the prospect of Kyrgyzstan, Philippines, Vietnam and Yemen fighting for third in their groups, and thus possibly an entry to the last 16, is totally mind-boggling for me.

Such a shame, as I loved the last Asian Cup, and not just because the Socceroos won.

I wonder if that’s partially because the football community here really got around it. Even games like Uzbekistan vs North Korea drew 10,000 people. You just know there’s going to be empty stadia for so many of these games.

Hopefully this Asian Cup delivers as previous version in 2015 did. Based on 2015, football in Asia is developing and it may be the case that some of the smaller reputations (Thailand is one good example) punch above their perceived weight. I also think that the Asian Cup is undervalued in many respects, and it was only after having watched the tournament here in 2015 that the locals developed a better understanding of the tournament and football in the region.

Vietnam have been doing well at the youth levels recently so will be interesting to see if they can step up at senior level. Much like the WC, the interesting part will be seeing how much the 3rd and 4th pot nations have improved.

Tickets have been priced fairly cheaply and they seem to have followed Australia’s lead in reaching out to local communities so games involving India, Philippines, Syria have the possibility of decent crowds. Games in Al Ain also tend to draw well as it’s a great little stadium and there is nothing else to do there.

Regional rivalries will also generate some crowds. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a coordinated effort of locals attending Qatar games and cheering for the other team.

Ultimately 5:30pm weekday local kick offs are not very attractive so they will struggle during some games, however it also wouldn’t be a surprise to see them look to mobilise people and fill seats to avoid empty stadiums

That’s a positive take. It also wouldn’t be surprising to see completely empty stadiums like at the test cricket a couple of months ago.

Kim Jong Un ole ole ole rings out

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I can’t believe I forgot about that! That was gold!

Lol very questionable penalty for UAE at the death for them to get a 1-1 draw in the opener

Never change AFC. Here’s the highlights including the penalty decision:

Also tons of empty seats by the looks of it.

Joke of a penalty, ref had a clear view and gave nothing. Then something made him change his mind.

He must have got a call from the goal line ref as he shakes his head and starts running away.

33k in a 43k stadium. Not a great start. That’s less than the WC qualifier vs us.

A 3pm workday kick off for our game. Could be very empty.

Carn Palestine!

India thrashed Thailand 4-1. WTF? They made some of those finishes look easy as well. The Indian Super League seems to be paying off. Also Palestine drew with Syria even though they got a red card. A pretty unexpected start to the Cup so far.

It was some disgraceful football served up in the Syrian Palestinian match, yeesh…well done to Palestine for clinging on for the draw though considering the second yellow was way harsh on their defender and probably best player on the field.
Palestine’s first ever points in the Asian Cup.

Well there’s going to be utter carnage in the tipping game. Fucking Syria …

And India … WOW! Certainly didn’t expect that. Thailand taking a step backwards from what I thought was progress in recent years.

Thailand have sacked their coach.

Kyrgyzstan are 1-0 ahead of China just going into the second half. This group stage (so far) is totally not going to plan for anyone.

Poor Kyrgyzstan keeper has done a Vedran and palmed it into his own net. 1-1.

China scores with a Janjetovic style own goal.