Two rounds of the 2011 AFC Asian Cup’s Group A are now complete. As it stands now, Uzbekistan has now won both of its matches after beating Kuwait 2-1 today. Qatar beat China 2-0 today, showing just how bad the Chinese actually are (and how much worse Kuwait is for losing to them.) Qatar and China are now tied for second. I wonder how many other squads would get away with having so many players from other countries as Qatar (by my count there are players from Qatar, Kuwait, Senegal, Ghana, Brazil, and Uruguay on the squad.) In the final round Qatar plays Kuwait and China plays Uzbekistan. I will go out on a limb and say that Uzbekistan and Qatar will advance to the quarterfinals from Group A.
It is a sad sad group when Uzbekistan are the clear powerhouse. The Bahrainis (who are grouped with actually powerhouses Australia and South Korea in the closest thing that the AFC can muster to a group of death) must be pissed off at their bad luck.
No real surprises in the other groups after one round except for Japan only drawing with Jordan(?!?). The Saudi Arabian FA sacked the national coach after their team’s loss to Syria, which, regardless of his merits, is the most foolish thing they could have done. Clearly they neither expect to win the Asian Cup, nor want to anymore. Why don’t they just go home?
India did not embarrass itself in losing to Australia 4-0, although that may be because Australia, now firmly in Asia, no longer have the appetite/need to win matches 31-0. The real match to look forward to is Australia v. South Korea in two days. South Korea already beat Bahrain.
In the Axis of Evil (Group D): Iran beat Iraq 2-1, and nothing exploded on or off the pitch, despite the predictions of sports journalists. North Korea drew with the United Arab Emirates 0-0, although no doubt North Korean state television reported this as a 10-0 victory for the North Koreans.