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No team ensures quarter-final ticket after second round at Asian
Cup
+ -
09:15, July 16, 2007

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· Asian Cup 2007
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No team ensured its ticket for knock-out stage while fairy tales co-hosts gradually fade away after two rounds of matches at Asian Cup.

The strong team behaved much differently, with Japan bouncing back to win while South Korea and Australia on the verge of early exit after humiliating defeat.

Japan lifted itself to top Group A after a convincing 3-1 win over the United Arab Emirates on Friday. Meanwhile, Co-host Vietnam had to accept a 1-1 draw with Qatar.

Japan is to face Vietnam Monday in a battle to top the group, with both sides on four points. Apart from UAE, all other three teams have chances to qualify.

But it was another story for Australia as the Socceroos was dealt a heavy blow after losing 1-3 to Iraq in Group B.

To qualify, Australia now has to defeat co-host Thailand who continued its better-than-expected performance and earned a well-earned 2-0 win over Oman.

In theory, all four team in Group B have chances to advance to the knock-out stage though Iraq is better-positioned.

In Group C, Uzbekistan smashed Malaysia 5-0, almost sealed the co-host's fate of being washed out in group stage.

The head-on clash between Iran and China ended in a 2-2 draw and two team both have four points in hand.

China will face Uzbekistan on July 18, and a draw will lift China to knock-out stage. Meanwhile, Iran will play an easy match against Malaysia.

Indonesian fans were heart-broken as their team was defeated 1-2 by more experienced Saudi Arabia with an injury-time header.

South Korea, who drew with Saudi Arab in the opening match in Group D, unexpectedly lost to Bahrain 1-2.

The result leaves Korea at the bottom of Group D and needing to beat Indonesia in their final game to stand any chance of advancing to the quarter-finals.

Source: Xinhua



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