score football magazine

qatar 2011

Group A matches
Uzbeks spoil Qatari party

Qatar 0 Uzbekistan 2 (January 7)
The 2011 Asian Cup began with a 2-0 defeat for the hosts Qatar. Uzbekistan who had failed to capitalise on Qatar's defensive frailty in the first half, silenced the crowd in the 58th minute when Akhmedov's dipping shot from distance crashed in off the post. Another defensive error by Qatar in the 77th minute allowed Djeparov to shoot past Burhan and seal victory for the visitors.

qasem burhan
Burhan beaten by distant shot

Luckless Kuwait crumble

China 2 Kuwait 0 (January 8)
China got the better of 10-man Kuwait to make a winning start to the 2011 Asian Cup. Kuwait had a stonewall penalty turned down in the first half and were reduced to 10 men in the 35th minute when Mesaed Neda saw red for kicking out at an opponent following a sliding tackle. In the 2nd half Chinese keeper Yang just about kept a Kuwaiti effort from completely crossing the goal line, but the deadlock was broken in the 58th minute when a corner-kick was only cleared as far as Zhang Linpeng whose soft volley took a deflection past Al Khaldi in the Kuwait goal, and China put the match beyond Kuwait 8 minutes later when Deng Zhuoxiang fired a free-kick in off the post.

Group B matches
Syria stun Saudis

Syria 2 Saudi Arabia 1 (January 9)
The Asian Cup began for Saudi Arabia with a shock 2-1 defeat to Syria. Abdulrazak al-Hussein wrong-footed the Saudi keeper with a slightly deflected shot in the 38th minute, but Saudi Arabia levelled the score on the hour-mark when Taiseer al-Jassem ran onto a cross to head the ball in from just inside the box. Three minutes later Hussein's claimed his second with a shot from inside the area that took a huge deflection leaving the Saudi keeper Ali with no chance, and in the last minute Balhous made a match-winning save from a header for Syria.

al hussein
Al Hussein sinks Saudi Arabia

Late header saves Japan

Japan 1 Jordan 1 (January 9)
Jordan had their hearts broken as a last minute goal denied them victory against the Asian giants Japan. Hassan Abdel-Fattah gave Jordan the lead just before the break when his shot was deflected off Yoshida high into the net, but Yoshida made amends in stoppage time heading in the equaliser at the far post.

Group C matches
Socceroos outclass India

Australia 4 India 0 (January 10)
Tim Cahill scored twice as Australia coasted to a 4-0 win against India. Cahill got on the end of an Emerton pass in the 6-yard box and tucked the ball past Subrata in the India goal after only 11 minutes, and the Indian keeper was beaten again when Harry Kewell's sizzling shot flew past him in the 25th minute. Brett Holman put the result beyond doubt on the stroke of half time when he got to a cross before the Indian keeper to head the ball into the net, and Cahill rose above the Indian defense in the 64th minute to compete the scoring with a firm header into the corner of the net.

tim cahill
Cahill scored with header

Koo double gives Korea edge

South Korea 2 Bahrain 1 (January 10)
A brace from Koo Ja Cheol helped South Korea to a 2-1 win over Bahrain. Koo Ja Cheo's effort 5 minutes before the break was deflected over the Bahraini keeper for the opener, and 7 minutes into the 2nd half Mansoor did well to keep out a menacing shot from Cha Du Ri, but Koo Ja Cheo was on hand to claim his second with a tap-in. South Korea's victory was marred by the dismissal of Kwak Tae Hwi for a foul in the box and Faouzi Aaish dispatched the spot kick to give Bahrain hope with 5 minutes remaining.

Group D matches
Iran overturn champs

Iran 2 Iraq 1 (January 11)
Iran came from behind to beat reigning Asian champions Iraq. The Iraqis took the lead in the12th minute when Emad Mohammed headed a cross back across the face of goal for Younis Mahmoud to knock over the line, but 3 minutes before the interval Andranik Teymourian played the ball to Gholamreza Rezaei who beat the keeper with a cool finish from the corner of the 6-yard box. Iran got the winner 6 minutes from time when Iman Mobali swung in a free-kick that deceived everyone and found the back of the net.

gholamreza rezaei
Rezaei levels the score for Iran

Off target

North Korea 0 UAE 0 (January 11)
The United Arab Emirates and North Korea produced the first goalless draw of the tournament. North Korea were awarded a penalty in the 7th minute but captain Hong Yong Jo smacked the ball against the bar. The UAE began to enjoy more possession in the first half and created several chances without troubling the North Korean keeper Ri Myong Guk who was brought into action when he dived to keep out a header a minute from Fulltime.

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