Doha: Korea Republic enjoyed something of a fairy tale summer when it co-hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan. The tournament, at which the Taegeuk Warriors finished a very commendable fourth, was a turning point for thousands of Koreans, who drew inspiration from their team’s performance and used it to help set their future goals.
The World Cup’s impact, however, might have been greatest on the nation's young footballers, who were more motivated than ever to replicate the heroics of Ahn Jung-hwan and Lee Woon-jae, to name but two.
In Ulsan, a city that hosted three fixtures at the 2002 Finals, thousands of people would gather at the city’s stadium, which was used as a fan zone to watch the national team in action. Jung Woo-young, only 13 at the time, attended with his family and watched as his national heroes went all the way to semi-finals.
Asian Classics: Japan's 2004 triumph an unforgettable moment, says Zico
Kuala Lumpur: Sixteen years ago, Japan showed their resolve to overcome a partisan home crowd and a series of challenging opponents to lift the AFC Asian Cup for the third time.
Their head coach, Brazilian legend Zico, talks exclusively to the-AFC.com about one of the highlights of his illustrious career as he led the Japanese to an historic victory in China PR.
“To be able to lead a team like Japan at the Asian Cup in China was not only an honour, but a challenge and it’s a victory which I cherish and which I will keep with me forever. It was an unforgettable moment in my life.”
Kuala Lumpur: The-AFC.com's '5 of the Best' spotlight returns to AFC Champions League action this week as we highlight goals that are far more about the collective than the individual.
With a selection that is sure to stir up domestic rivalries, we bring you goals from three of the biggest teams in Saudi Arabia and a pair of Japanese giants with moves that were perfected on the training ground before being played out under the floodlights. After reviewing the five teams goals, vote for your favourite at the bottom of the article.
Kuala Lumpur: After more than 250,000 votes, the fans' Best XI from the 2018 AFC Champions League has been decided with the final line-up featuring a host of standout performers from the competition.
The 2018 AFC Champions League was filled with classic matches, nail-biting moments and fabulous individual performances and, after reviewing the competition's key players, we present the 'Dream Team' as voted by you, the fans.
Below are the 11 players who made the cut on the public polls on the-AFC.com, while an XI by OPTA, the official statistics provider for the AFC, is also included as a comparison.
It meant the world to us: Porteria, Ott recall Ceres Negros' 2017 AFC Cup glory
Bacolod: Ceres Negros’ victory in the 2017 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Final, three years ago on Sunday, was a historic moment for football in the Philippines.
A 3-2 aggregate victory over Singapore's Home United ensured the Filipino club became the AFC Cup's first-ever ASEAN Zone champions, with their 2-0 victory in Bacolod on August 9, 2017, sealing their place in the tournament's record books.
To commemorate the achievement, the-AFC.com spoke exclusively to the Ceres goalscorers, OJ Porteria and Manny Ott, to reflect on a magical night at Panaad Park.
Hotshots: Bienvenido Marañón (Ceres Negros FC) - 2019 AFC Cup
Kuala Lumpur: Since making his AFC Cup debut in 2016, striker Bienvenido Marañón has quickly established himself as one of Asia’s finest – a well-earned reputation he firmly underlined during last season’s Continental action.
Despite Philippines powerhouse Ceres Negros (now known as United City FC) - ultimately succumbing to Vietnamese giants Hanoi FC in the ASEAN Zonal Semi-finals, the crowd favourite bagged 10 AFC Cup goals in 2019, an impressive haul which saw him finish as the competition’s leading marksman.