AFC at the 2018 World Cup

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AFC at the 2018 World Cup

Postby blahblah Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:09 pm

Looks like Japan are less than impressed with their string of results and Vahid Halilhodzic has been given the boot. To be honest it has been a long time coming and given their cattle the Japanese should be performing a lot better than they have been.
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Re: AFC at the 2018 World Cup

Postby Stuckey Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:07 pm

I'm always interested to see how the other AFC nations fair. I think its in our interest that they succeed (except against us!)
On paper it would appear the Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia would be the confederation's best chance of progression.
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Re: AFC at the 2018 World Cup

Postby blahblah Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:16 pm

I'm always interested to see how the other AFC nations fair. I think its in our interest that they succeed (except against us!)
On paper it would appear the Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia would be the confederation's best chance of progression.
I would have said South Korea and Iran, but now with the change of coach I'll add Japan. The replacement, Akira Nashino, really knows his stuff.

For those who were not around at the time, he was the bugger who had Gamba beat us twice; the 2008 ACL final and in the Club World Cup.

interestingly, I suspect he has taken this job out of a sense of duty. He was the JFA Technical Director, quite a position. He was the coach I thought should have taken over the national reins after his ACL triumph. They went with Zico instead (if memory serves). One thing for sure, the players will listen to him and he will bend the team to his will.

Odd thing is out of the three teams to qualify for the World Cup from our group, all have changed coaches.
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Re: AFC at the 2018 World Cup

Postby blahblah Wed May 23, 2018 9:39 am

A couple of injury blows to our colleagues with young Iranian midfielder Ali Karimi being injured during national training and, perhaps more significantly, Kwon Chang-Hoon was injured playing for Dijon in the last round of League 1 action. Korea have quite an injury list with Yeom Ki-hun, Kim Min-jae, Lee Geun-ho also on the injury list, though out of those Yeom Ki-hun & Lee Geun-ho are in the twilight of their careers.

Japan have gone for an experienced squad which is disappointing given that players such as Shoya Nakajima (who has been tearing it up in Portugal) miss out.
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Re: AFC at the 2018 World Cup

Postby blahblah Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:58 am

The warm ups for our AFC colleagues have not been sterling. Japan had a disappointing 0-2 loss to Ghana in Saitama. They looked like the Japan of all, all possession and dithering in the final third whilst getting punished by quick transitions. They have Switzerland this Friday to try to rectify these issues.

South Korea started with a 2-0 win over Honduras, a side we know to be rather limited, yet had a 1-3 defeat to Bosnia in a game which was balanced in the main, but shouldn't have been given it was being played in Korea. They have Bolivia tomorrow and Senegal on Monday in what is a rather busy schedule.

Iran had a decent win at home over Uzbekistan, 1-0, however lost to Turkey in a game where Team Melli had opted to have some players in defence playing out of position. They were punished as a result and need to get players back into their natural spots if they want to limit leaking at the back (sound familiar?). Their final friendly is against Lithuania this Friday.

Saudi have been playing friendlies for a while, slowly raming up the quality of the opposition. After a couple of wins at home against Greece and Algeria they suffered a loss to Italy that wasn't as close as the score suggested and a thumping to Peru. They have Germany on Friday before their opener against Russia on Thursday, which looks a bit tight to me.

In all there have been some decent passages of play and a couple of decent performances however the AFC sides are currently performing below their best, a situation they'll need to rectify over the next week.
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Re: AFC at the 2018 World Cup

Postby blahblah Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:30 pm

An improved hit out from South Korea last night against Bolivia. The South Koreans totally dominated the match and peppered the goal however the Bolivian goal keeper managed to keep them out. Son was rested for most of the match and certainly the quality of the Bolivian keeper's saves had to raise a few notches when he finally came on.

In all 0-0, but not a scoreline that reflects a game where Bolivian managed only two shots at goal compared to the Koreans' twenty four or so.
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Re: AFC at the 2018 World Cup

Postby blahblah Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:46 am

The friendlies are over and Japan finished with most of their non-starting XI jogging out against Paraguay and giving them a football lesson. 4-2 in the end however Paraguay buried their chances with Japan could have put another 3 or 4 away if they'd been a bit sharper. Still, the second XI have given Nishino pause and the likes of Inui and Kagawa will be hammering on the door for inclusion. A rather decisive display in the midfield and forward line that will give Japan hope in the World Cup.

South Korea have been woeful. I am not sure what is going wroing however a team that has more talent at its disposal than most isn't performing as it should. Their hit out with Bolivia looked good however against Senegal they proved too fragile at the back to give much confidence. Hopefully they can turn it around however the bookies won't be giving them great odds.

Iran had a couple of games cancelled which disrupted their preparations, however looked comfortable against Lithuania. In all they are a well firing team (bar the blip against Turkey) however their group is the toughest of all the AFC sides with both Spain and Portugal to negotiate.

Saudi have been getting beaten which won't be great for their confidence however a narrow loss to Germany may give them some heart. They have the easiest group out of all the AFC sides however are also the weakest side. Still, if they put in a performance similar to the one against Germany then they may prove too strong for Russia in the operner tomorrow night - now that would be an interesting start to the competition!
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Re: AFC at the 2018 World Cup

Postby sevengoals Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:14 pm

Russia 5-0 RSA
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Re: AFC at the 2018 World Cup

Postby Obarizk Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:37 pm

Iran 1-0 Morocco, but that was a very poor game, especially the second half. Lots of players going down injured, and they actually might have been genuine, towards the end of the game. And then an own goal right at the end.
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Re: AFC at the 2018 World Cup

Postby blahblah Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:27 pm

Iran 1-0 Morocco, but that was a very poor game, especially the second half. Lots of players going down injured, and they actually might have been genuine, towards the end of the game. And then an own goal right at the end.
I didn't think it was that bad, just the sheer pace the game was being played at resulted in a lot of mistimed tackles from both sides. Both keepers pulled off some great saves.

Iran looked more organised but Morocco had the better skills. Still, both are going to struggle against Spain, I think Iran has a chance to get a result against Portugal if they can stay organised.
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Re: AFC at the 2018 World Cup

Postby blahblah Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:31 pm

Russia 5-0 RSA
That was an embarassment - and they had the majority of possession. It seems the local FA have made public comments regarding "holding the players accountable" (aka shifting the blame) which is going to do little for their confidence in the remaining games.
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Re: AFC at the 2018 World Cup

Postby blahblah Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:44 am

Korea lose 0-1 to Sweden via VAR. It was a reall kick-fest with both sides hacking away and Sweden spending a fair bit of time on the ground. Not a classic encounter by any means.
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Re: AFC at the 2018 World Cup

Postby sevengoals Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:28 am

2-1 to Japan!
Great result.
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Re: AFC at the 2018 World Cup

Postby blahblah Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:33 am

2-1 to Japan!
Great result.
Fantastic. A really good game to watch as well. They will be high on confidence going into the game against Senegal on Sunday.
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Re: AFC at the 2018 World Cup

Postby bpowell454 Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:36 am

I caught the second half, I was surprised how much Japan was dominating the game until I realised there had been a red card early in the game.

Good on them though, I thought their build up play was fantastic.

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