If any of you haven’t heard of the AFC Asian Cup, then you can’t have read my post SBS Strike Again! Another Special European Broadcast. If you have read that post, you will know that the Asian Cup is actually older than the UEFA European Football Championship also referred to in the title.
This competition has taken place every four years since 1956, although it switched its cycles in 2007 to avoid clashing with those European Championships and also the Summer Olympic Games. 2007 was also the first year that Australia took part having joined the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
Last time out, 2011, Australia were narrowly beaten in the final 1-0 by Japan. This year though the AFC Asian Cup is being held right here in Australia. All in, there are 47 teams in the AFC and just like those Euros, those teams had to battle it out in the qualifiers to make the finals here in Australia.
Now we are down to the last 16, four groups of 4.
Australia’s home advantage
And Australia are in with a great chance having won their first two group games by 4-1 and 4-0. So Australia have already qualified from their group, but the big game is on Saturday night right here in Brisbane at the Suncorp Stadium against Korea Republic, who have also taken six points from their first two games. But they won both of them by just a measly 1-0, so hopefully Australia can go on to win the group.
The downside is that I won’t be going; I’d already booked a long weekend away for a bit of beach time, which is a shame. It now means that I can only get to see Australia play in the Suncorp Stadium in this competition if they lose to Korean Republic to come second in the group.
The way I look at it, whatever the result, I’ll be able to take something positive out of it.
Here’s a picture of the Suncorp Stadium that I’ve taken earlier, except today I have to call it the Brisbane Stadium. Apparently, due to some kind of sponsorship conflict, whenever the Suncorp Stadium is used for an AFC event it becomes the Brisbane Stadium.
So here’s a picture of the Brisbane Stadium that I took earlier…
Incidentally, for those who like to keep tabs on costs here, tickets for games that include Australia can be bought for around $49, and tickets for games in which Australia do not feature can be bought for as little as $15 each.
Not bad eh?
At this point I could have showed you YouTube videos with all the goals from those opening Australian games, but I thought that would kind of be a little self-indulgent as a citizen of Australia. So instead, here is the history of the AFC Asian Cup and you’ll see that it has mainly been dominated by just a few teams…
Hopefully though going forward, Australia can become the new dominant force. Okay, now it’s time to watch those goals…