September 7, 2006
Forgotten in the midst of Euro 2008 qualifiers were qualifiers for next year’s Asian Cup, which will be hosted by four seperate countries.
Now the title of this post refers to an Australian team at almost full strength being dominated by the 96th ranked team in the world, Kuwait. The 2-0 win for the Gulf nation was a modest scoreline, but it puts them on the verge of qualification.
The Gulf seemed to be home to all sorts of humbling last night. Iraq’s 2-2 draw kept them top of Group E, but it was against Palestine. China could have overtaken them, but they could not breakthrough against Singapore.
Qatar qualified for the finals with a 3-0 over Bangladesh, while Hong Kong and Uzbekistan will continue to battle for second in Group F after a 0-0 draw.
The United Arab Emirates are qualified after their scoreless draw with Jordan, and Oman’s 5-0 destruction of Pakistan put them on the verge of qualification in Group C.
Group B, not so competitive. South Korea laid the hammer down on Chinese Taipei 8-0 with a hat-trick from Jung Jo-Gook, while Seol Hi-Kyeon and Choe Jae-Jin contributed two goals a piece. Iran, meanwhile, beat Syria 2-0.
In Group A, India made the mistake of taking the early lead in Saudi Arabia and fell to a 7-1 defeat which put the Saudis through. Japan were nearly held by Yemen, but they advanced thanks to a stoppage time goal from Okinawan Kazuki Ganaha.