20 years on - Asia’s FIFA World Cup: The Continent's Cast
Dubai: Two decades on since Asia hosted the FIFA World Cup for the first time in its history and four months before the world’s eyes turn to the continent again as Qatar hosts the 2022 edition, the-AFC.com revisits Korea/Japan 2002.
With the two host nations qualifying automatically, the opportunity arose for the AFC to better its previous record of four teams in France 1998 as Saudi Arabia and China PR booked the two direct tickets to join the hosts, but it wasn’t to be.
Islamic Republic of Iran defeated the United Arab Emirates in the AFC Playoff to reach the Inter-Continental Playoff where they faced Republic of Ireland. Goals from Ian Harte and Robbie Keane in Dublin left Miroslav Blasevic’s men with a mountain to climb in the reverse leg at Azadi Stadium five days later, and a late goal from current Persepolis head coach Yahya Golmohammedi was not enough to overturn things, as Team Melli failed to join the four other Asian nations in the continent's first World Cup.
Destination New Zealand for hopefuls Chinese Taipei, Thailand
Kuala Lumpur: Chinese Taipei and Thailand's bid to qualify for the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia/New Zealand 2023 will see them competing in the Playoff Tournament in Hamilton and Auckland.
The two Asian teams will be joined by sides from Africa (two), North and Central America and the Caribbean (two), South America (two), Europe (one) and Oceania (one) with three places in the Finals at stake in the February 17-23 Playoff Tournament.
Jardim has ambitious plans for Shabab Al Ahli Dubai
Dubai: Newly appointed head coach Leonardo Jardim is determined to build a Shabab Al Ahli Dubai side capable of challenging for honours domestically as well as at the continental level.
The Portuguese coach guided Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal SFC to last year's AFC Champions League™ title and the FIFA Club World Cup semi-finals in February and is looking forward to achieving more success with UAE Pro League side Shabab Al Ahli.
Coincidentally, Shabab Al Ahli will face Al Hilal in the AFC Champions League 2022 Round of 16.
Kuala Lumpur: With the group stage of the AFC Cup™ 2022 completed, the-AFC.com takes a closer look at the numbers that caught the eye following the conclusion of the first phase of the tournament.
From high-scoring forwards to those that create the goals and win the ball back, we shine the spotlight on the players whose statistics stood out as the continental competition heads into the knockout stage.
Kuala Lumpur: Among the big transfer news in recent weeks has been Japan forward Takumi Minamino’s move from Liverpool to French Ligue 1 side AS Monaco after spending three seasons and picking up a number of trophies with the Reds.
Soon after, one of the biggest names in ASEAN, Vietnam’s Nguyen Quang Hai, followed suit and joined Ligue 2 side Pau in a move that will generate huge intrigue among fans across the continent.
With big campaigns ahead at their respective new clubs, the-AFC.com looks at some of the Asian stars to have played their club football in France in recent years.
Five Asian players who impressed in Europe in 2021-22
Kuala Lumpur: It was a season of exciting beginnings, growth, trophies and personal accolades for Asia's elite women footballers players in European football in 2021-22 as the continent’s finest continued to make their mark abroad.
Join the-AFC.com as we profile five players who had impressive 2021-22 campaigns in Europe.
Six Asian players who impressed in Europe in 2021-22
Dubai: It was a season of exciting beginnings, growth, trophies and personal accolades for Asian players in European football in 2021-22 as the continent’s finest continued to make their mark abroad.
With the season ending and preparations for a new campaign getting underway, the-AFC.com profiles six players who had a positive 2021-22 campaign in Europe. While there were many names to choose from and the likes of Takehiro Tomiyasu, Wataru Endo, Sardor Azmoun and Lee Kang-in all making an impact, here are the six players who made the final cut for this feature.