2019 Asian Cup

PedroSpecialK

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Anyone else watching this?

China scraped by against Kyrgyzstan 2-1 today, and South Korea were outplayed but ultimately beat the Philippines 1-0.

Iran is running roughshod against a poor Yemen side, 4-0 right now in the 63rd minute. Biggest factor for Iran in this tournament will be health, as Charleroi's Ali Gholizadeh was not fit enough to be named to the 24 man squad, and Brighton's Alireza Jahanbakhsh has also been struggling for fitness. That, and facing Son Heung-Min at some point in the knockout stages.

Similar to South Korea, Iran is dangling the incentive of waived military service for the squad given they cannot be paid for many tournaments (including Russia '18) due to sanctions. However, everyone is already either exempt, or has paid the bribe for their waiver (~$2.5k before the latest sanction-driven inflation), other than Swedish-born Saman Ghoddos.

edit: 5-0 Iran, goal by Saman Ghoddos on the volley - it'd be nice for him to get some confidence going, Azmoun's also scored today
 
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Titans Bastard

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How do you watch this tournament in the US?
Wikipedia says the rights are held by...Eleven Sports, which I've never heard of, so good luck!

There are undoubtedly tons of streams of dubious legality if you know where to look.
 

PedroSpecialK

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Iraq - Iran at a 0-0 stalemate right now, but is not lacking in intensity.

Saman Ghoddos should have been sent off for a clear stamp, extremely lucky to still be on the pitch.

Three uncalled handballs in the box against Iraq

As is customary in AFC, refereeing incompetence being shown on both sides now. Amiri gets away with a clear foul on the edge of the box

Taremi on for Jahanbakhsh

Mystery yellow card on Vahid Amiri

Ghoddos gets a touch in and gets clattered into by Tarik, no idea how but Ghoddos is whistled for the foul

Enormous save by Beiranvand

Dejagah on for Cheshmi

Wasn't pretty but job done - Iran advances as group leaders, Iraq as second in group D
 
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PedroSpecialK

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Looking at the matchups, Iran will play the team with the highest point totals of the following:
  • Palestine (2 pts)
  • Winner of Lebanon / North Korea if there is one (draw leaves each with 1 point)
  • Winner of Oman / Turkmenistan if there is one (draw leaves each with 1 point)
Hoping for a winner in either of those other games. Iraq meanwhile faces the winner of Qatar / Saudi Arabia, with a draw giving them Qatar
 

PedroSpecialK

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Halftime at Iran - Oman, with Iran holding an undeserved 2-0 lead
  • Beiranvand made a great penalty save on a penalty awarded 1' in
  • Casual chest control by an Omani defender gave Jahanbakhsh the touch he needed to put Iran up 1-0
  • Dejagah converted on a poor penalty call after a great tackle by another Omani defender
 

PedroSpecialK

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No shortage of action in the first ten minutes of Iran - China, despite the 0-0 scoreline. Couple of goal-line clearances, one at each end, and just high-quality play overall for the tournament's standards

And Mehdi Taremi finishes an easy chance after Azmoun hounded the Chinese defender to create a turnover, 1-0 Iran

Clear penalty not called by the Qatari ref. Waiting for VAR to intervene... and no intervention. What's the point of VAR if it's not going to get it right?

Taremi misses a sitter from 3 yards out. Won't see a worse miss in this tournament

China have made 1 sub already for injury, now have a second tactical sub coming on in the 28th minute...

Sardar Azmoun makes it 2-0!!! edit: VAR now being used... for what?

edit 2: Goal stands, there wasn't enough of a pullback by Azmoun to nullify the goal
 
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PedroSpecialK

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Qatar score against the run of play in the 79th minute, up 1-0 on South Korea. If this holds, Heung-Min Son will be back a couple weeks sooner than expected for Spurs

edit: full time, Son is out of the tournament
 
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Dummy Hoy

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_AFC_Asian_Cup_squads#Qatar

They have a defender who is a naturalized citizen from Portugal but the list look pretty legit.
Yeah, better, but looking through found a guy born in france, a guy born in Iraq, a few without a birthplace listed, a guy who is listed as 'egyptian-qatari,' etc. Not much different from some other nations though and miles better than they were 4 years ago when they were trying to nationalize a bunch of brazilians.

That's a huge win for them- maybe not quite the impact of Caliguiri's goal, but similar in terms of proving a point to doubters.
 

PedroSpecialK

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If Iran can advance against Japan today, they will be through to the final for the first time since the 1976 victory.

Not an easy matchup given the strength of Japan's squad (especially Sakai and Yoshida in the back 4, and Shibasaki in midfield), but if they can isolate Jahanbakhsh on Yuto Nagatomo out wide, I like Iran's chances.

A miss for Iran will be Mehdi Taremi, who picked up a yellow card in the quarterfinal. Either Saman Ghoddos or Karim Ansarifard should take his place at left wing. Expecting this lineup in the same 4-2-3-1 setup:

GK: Alireza Beiranvand
RB: Ramin Rezaeian
CB: Morteza Pouraliganji
CB: Hossein Kanaanizadegan
LB: Milad Mohammadi
CDM: Omid Ebrahimi
CDM: Ehsan Hajsafi
RW: Alireza Jahanbakhsh
CAM: Ashkan Dejagah
LW: Saman Ghoddos
ST: Sardar Azmoun

Edit: Lineup is as anticipated, but with Vahid Amiri in the starting 11 over both Ghoddos and Ansarifard

 
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PedroSpecialK

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So close for Azmoun, nutmegs one defender with a dribble and another with the shot, but a good save to turn it around the post.

Amiri gets a yellow for a studs-up challenge, a bit harsh as he got all ball and made no contact with Sakai but the right call

Outstanding cross by Hajsafi on the break nearly makes it to Azmoun, but an excellent challenge by Yoshida thwarts the attack

Mental lapse by Iran allows Japan through on the counter to go up 1-0

Now an exceedingly harsh, but not 'clear and obvious mistake', handball on Iran awards Japan a penalty. Beiranvand is outstanding at PKs but guesses the wrong way on this one. 2-0 scoreline right now is really harsh for Iran, first two goals they've conceded this tournament

3-0. Another loss of concentration after a 1+ minute wait on a goal kick in added time.

Really hope this isn't the last game of the Queiroz era
 
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PedroSpecialK

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Though it was rumored, I didn't really want to believe it. It's tough to sum up all that he did for the national team and the nation overall over these past few cycles, despite having an awful federation to deal with and even worse higher-ups.

It's tough to see any manager within spitting distance of Queiroz's pedigree and acumen getting the Iran job. I fully expect a regressive, slimy, relatively cheap successor - Branko Ivanković is both my worst fear and the most likely candidate. Sigh.

Thorough congrats to Japan, they were deserved winners in the semis, and I am pulling for them in the finals. I really do not want to see either set of grassrollers from UAE or Qatar raising the cup.
 

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I know a couple of years ago Qatar had something like five Qatari nationals on their team. Has that ratio gotten better?
So back to this....
UAE has filed a formal protest that Qatar fielded 2 ineligible players
Bassam Al Rawi- From Iraq, Qatar says his mother was born in Qatar, UAE says they have proof she was born in Iraq.
Almoez Ali- the runaway star of this tourney, Born in Sudan, again Qatar says his mother was born in Qatar and UAE says it isn't true.

So... they've tightened it up, but could still be some shennanigans going on
 

PedroSpecialK

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Ali's scored already in the final against Japan, Qatar leading 2-0 as halftime approaches.

He's broken Ali Daei's goals record for the tournament with the aid of having run up the score against North Korea
 

OilCanShotTupac

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On another note, Asia is just impossibly fucking huge, isn't it? The inter-federation travel for WC qualifying and the like must be brutal.
 

Titans Bastard

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On another note, Asia is just impossibly fucking huge, isn't it? The inter-federation travel for WC qualifying and the like must be brutal.
It's bad, especially for countries with players scattered around the world and in leagues in Europe.

The AFC Champions League has a regionalized group stage, with four Middle East / Central Asia groups and four East Asia / SE Asia / Australia groups. It's hard to justify that on the WCQ level — the stakes are high and it would be unfair if one region is stronger than the other.

And for those who dream of more combined N + S American competitions for club and country, London-Tokyo is a shorter flight than Seattle-Buenos Aires.