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Asian Football Trivia: Round Four

Saturday, August 11, 2018
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Kuala Lumpur: As tickets go on sale and momentum builds up towards UAE 2019, we have an AFC Asian Cup special in round four of the Asian Football Trivia.

The AFC Asian Cup buzz is in the air, tickets are on sale last week, and excitement has been building as 24 Asian nations prepare for the biggest competition in the continent. You, the fans, have been equally enthusiastic, raining in questions about the history of the tournament.

So here we are. A special edition round four of the Asian Football Trivia, all about the AFC Asian Cup. Remember to send us your questions for next week via our social media handles and don’t forget to include the hashtag #AskAFT. Enjoy!

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@1dwcOI8EstdLm2J gets us underway with a question about the team with the most number of AFC Asian Cup appearances without advancing past the group stage.

من هو المنتخب الأكثر مشاركة في كاس اسيا ويخرج من المجموعات

— محمد الغامدي (@1dwcOI8EstdLm2J) July 26, 2018

When Oman travel the short distance north to their neighbour the UAE for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, they will be participating in the tournament for the fourth time without ever advancing past the group stage. They previously qualified for the 2004, 2007 and 2015 editions.

Should Oman qualify to the Round of 16 in January, their group stage exit record will stop at three appearances, level with Malaysia who have exited the tournament at the group stage in all their three appearances, in 1976, 1980 and at home in 2007.

Indonesia co-hosted the 2007 AFC Asian Cup with Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, and they departed at the first round for the fourth consecutive time, having qualified to every tournament between 1996 and 2007. They have since failed to reach the AFC Asian Cup Finals.

However, the record for most AFC Asian Cup appearances without ever progressing from the group stage goes to Syria. The Eagles of Qasioun qualified for all three editions of the competition in the 1980s, and after missing out in 1992, they qualified again for UAE 1996, but still with no luck. Their group stage exit in Qatar 2011 made it five AFC Asian Cup group stage exits, a record they would want to get off their back when they face reigning champions Australia and neighbours Jordan and Palestine in Group B of January’s tournament in the UAE.

@m10m_1994 from Iraq asks about the highest number of goals Ali Daei scored in one match?

ماهو اكبر عدد من الاهداف سجلها المهاجم الايراني السابق علي دائي في مباراة واحدة

— m10m (@m10m_1994) July 26, 2018

The Iranian legend remains the all time top goalscorer in international football, his 109 goals in 149 appearances for Islamic Republic of Iran are a whooping 24 more than his nearest chaser, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

In his 13-year international career, Daei scored three goals or more in a match on nine different occasions. In a 1996 AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Nepal, he bagged four goals as IR Iran won 8-0. Just two days later, he went one better to net five against Sri Lanka in a 7-0 victory. This remains the highest number of goals in a single match for the striker in a Team Melli shirt.


Perhaps Daei’s most famous individual display was his four-goal exploit as Iran demolished Korea Republic 6-2 in the 1996 AFC Asian Cup in the UAE. With the score tied at 2-2 at the hour-mark, Daei showed what he is all about, hitting four goals in half an hour to send his team into the semi-finals.

In 2000, IR Iran recorded their biggest ever history, defeating Guam 19-0 in a 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier, and Daei contributed four goals. Even at 35, he was scoring for fun, putting four past Laos in a 7-0 triumph en route to leading IR Iran to the 2006 FIFA World Cup Finals.

To round off a trio of AFC Asian Cup questions, we have one from @alit729, about why the 2007 AFC Asian Cup took place three years after the previous edition in 2008 instead of four years after it as is the norm?

نحن نعلم أن بطولة كأس آسيا تقام كل أربع سنوات بين بطولة وأخرى؟
سؤالي لماذا بطولة 2007 جرت بعد ثلاث سنوات من بطولة 2004في الصين الذي كان بطلها منتخبنا الوطني العراقي
شكرا جزيلا

— المهاجر (@alit729) August 1, 2018

Since its inaugural edition in Hong Kong in 1956, the AFC Asian Cup took place every four years without interruption. The competition grew from four teams in its maiden version to 16 in 2015 and we will be seeing 24 teams compete for the title for the first time in 2019.

The quadrennial patter continued through to 2004, with the tournament taking place in the same year as the Olympic Games and the UEFA European Championship. Following the 2004 edition, it was decided that the AFC Asian Cup would be differentiated and shifted by a year, but would continue to be organised every four years.


Thus, the 2007 edition came about a year earlier than its original date. It remains a memorable edition for multiple reasons too, as it was the first time multiple countries hosted the AFC Asian Cup, with Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam all hosting games. Australia also made their debut in the competition after joining the AFC, and Iraq were crowned champions for the first time in their history.

The AFC Asian Cup has since then been organised every four years, with Qatar hosting the tournament in 2011 and Australia in 2015, leading us to the next edition - UAE 2019.

Read More Asian Football Trivia:

Which country’s teams have won the most number of AFC Champions League titles?

Who is the AFC Asian Cup all-time top goalscorer?

What has been the most successful shirt colour in the AFC Cup final?

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