Soccer’s AFC Asian Cup Is Heating Up In Australia
The AFC Asian Cup has been underway the last few weeks in the extremely hot-yet-beautiful Australian stadiums: between the Open, the Tour Down Under and this, Australia is the sports place to be at the moment.
Now, the last few weeks saw pool play, with Korea Republic, China, Iran and Japan winning their respective pools: the four teams who secured second were Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Australia.
And today — or technically yesterday if you are in Brisbane — the quarterfinals match ups got on their way: with Korea Republic defeating Uzbekistan 2-0 to advance to the semifinal round. The Korean team will next face the winner of Iran versus Iraq, which along with the other quarterfinals match will be played the night of January 23.
As for the hosting team, Australian fans got a huge boost when their football team, currently ranked 100 in the world, beat the 96th seeded China PR 2-0 in the quarterfinals. They secured the victory off of two goals — one a gorgeous bicycle-kick — by New York Red Bulls’ Tim Cahill. They are expected to play the winner of the Japan and United Arab Emirates match.
As for the AFC Asian Cup, it is held once every four years: and the winner is given, despite having Australia in the group, the title champion of Asia. It has been going on since 1956 and this year is the 16th edition of the tournament — even though it started in 1956, in 2007 they changed the pattern because officials did not want it to be the same year as the Summer Olympics and European Football Championships. As for the team who has won it the most, Japan, who is also the defending champion, sits on top with four titles.