Iran coach Amir Ghalenoei is banking on his squad’s well-honed fitness and attacking prowess to seal a victory over dark horse Uzbekistan in their opening Asian Cup match Wednesday.
Former Uzbekistan midfield general Mirdjalal Kasimov has found out that his current role as an assistant coach for the Uzbek national senior and U-23 teams does have its constraints.
Iran defender Rahman Rezaei has downplayed his side’s position as Group C favourites at the AFC Asian Cup 2007, but still insists that this year’s team is stronger than the one that finished third three years ago.
Qatar earned a share of the spoils with defending champions Japan when Sebastian Quintana scored with just two minutes remaining to hand the Asian Games gold medallists a 1-1 draw at My Dinh Stadium on Monday evening
China’s Asian Cup campaign has suffered a blow after experienced striker Qu Bo was ruled out of the tournament with an ankle injury, local media reported.
Oman were denied the first shock of the AFC Asian Cup 2007 when substitute Tim Cahill scored an injury-time equaliser as pre-tournament favourites Australia drew 1-1 with the Gulf Sultanate at the Rajamangala Stadium on Sunday.
Vietnam opened their AFC Asian Cup campaign with a thrilling 2-0 victory over the United Arab Emirates as second half goals from Huynh Quang Thanh and Le Cong Vinh ensured a surprise triumph over the Gulf Cup champions on Sunday.
Co-hosts Thailand and Athens Olympic Games semi-finalists Iraq shared the points when they played out a 1-1 draw in the opening game of the AFC Asian Cup 2007 at Rajamangala Stadium on Saturday evening.