Posted by: whatagoal | July 26, 2007

Asian Cup Semi-Finals Review

Korea Republic and Japan are out from Asian Cup! Too bad, I was hoping to see them in the final. We witness some good quality football from the both semi-finals played on Wednesday. After 210 minutes and a penalties shootout, both Iraq and Saudi Arabia cruised their way into Asian Cup final and they will meet at Jakarta. In the first Semi-Final, we saw Korea Republic failed again to net in a goal after 120 minutes and this bring a huge relief to the Saudi Arabia because Korea Republic was dominated the entire second half and the extra time.

AFC Asian Cup Semi Finals

In this tournament, Korea Republic do have some difficulty finding a goal and this eventually cost them after beaten by Iraq in a penalties shootout. Iraq was delaying the entire match and was hoping to bring the game into a penalties shootout because the Korean pushed them a lot. You have to admire the Korean high spirit and determination in the whole tournament. Their fitness level is unbelievable, I mean, after a tiring Quarter-Final playing against Iran with the heat and humidity in Malaysia, they didn’t look even a little tired and affected by the previous game and played whole the game with so much energy on the field. As for Iraq, they have much easier game against Vietnam in the Quarter-Final and they certainly didn’t played 120 minutes and a high tension penalties shootout game like Korea Republic did on last Sunday.

Asian Cup Semi Final

As I mentioned above, Iraq was delaying the entire second half plus the extra time and in order for them to do that, we saw some ‘professional acting’ from the Iraq goalkeeper, Noor Sabri Abbas. Every time he dived to make a save, he will surely and somehow hit the post and get ‘injure’. By doing this, he wasted a lot of time on the clock. I remember even the commentator joked about this and saying that he must have some magnet on his body, if not how come every time he jumped, his body will hit on the post. By looking at the replay, there were surely wasn’t any magnetic stuff going on, what I’m trying to say is that he did it on purpose even though the shot from the Korean was far away and wide. We hate to see this coming during a football match. You can waste time by making some substitutions or even play the ball at the sideline hoping to get a throw in or corner kick. This is normally what a team will do if they were in this kind of situation. Play acting just isn’t a good way to waste time on the clock.

Asian Cup Semi Final

Back to the Semi-Finals, Saudi Arabia through to the final and end Japan hopes of a hat-trick of AFC Asian Cups. Japan played much better football on the field and dominated the possession but Saudi Arabia hit them hard on every counter attack. Japan did equalized back twice but a spectacular individual goal from by Malek Maaz put Saudi Arabia ahead again and this time, they have learned their lesson by protecting the lead until the final moment. I order to protect their lead against Japan, another acting performance was shown by the Saudi Arabia goalkeeper, Yasser Al Mosailem. Comparing the acting performance from both goalies, I have to present the best actor award to Yasser Al Mosailem.

AFC Asian Cup Semi Finals

No offend, both of them are good keeper and they did even so well to help their team through to final. Credit to them and all the players from both Iraq and Saudi Arabia. It should be a cracking final to watch and both team played good quality football through out this tournament. As for the 3rd/4th place match, there is still a plenty of football to be play. The winner from that match will have automatic qualification for the next AFC Asian Cup in 2011. It’s a big bonus for the winner, as they don’t have to travel to some far west country and playing the qualification for 9 months.


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