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Jan 14, 2015

Long-serving Zheng bids to guide China out of ‘dark years’

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Of all China’s players at the Asian Cup, captain Zheng Zhi may be the most tired of hearing his nation described as the “sleeping giant” of world soccer.

The 34-year-old midfielder first made his mark in the national team as it surfed a wave of optimism in the wake of their first and only World Cup appearance at the 2002 finals in South Korea and Japan.

Jan 11, 2015

Hajsafi stunner highlights Iran’s 2-0 win over Bahrain

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Ehsan Hajsafi and Masoud Shojaei each scored volleyed goals to fire Iran to an emphatic 2-0 win in their Asian Cup opener against Bahrain in Melbourne on Sunday.

Utility player Hajsafi struck a brilliant, blistering volley from outside the area a minute into stoppage time of the first half.

Jan 9, 2015

Australia hammer Kuwait 4-1 in stunning Asian Cup start

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia shook off a nervous start and an early goal before trampling over Kuwait 4-1 to kick off their home Asian Cup in emphatic style in Melbourne on Friday.

Young midfielder Massimo Luongo shone for the home side, setting up a goal for Socceroos talisman Tim Cahill in the 33rd minute before heading in one of his own two minutes before the break in front of 30,000 spectators at the Rectangular Stadium.

Jan 9, 2015

Kuwait footballing history shaped by political winds

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Decades have passed since Kuwait’s halcyon days as a powerhouse of Asian soccer, but the tiny Gulf nation has retained its clout as a major player in the sport’s labyrinthine politics.

Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah holds no official title with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), but the Olympic Council of Asia boss may be the game’s most influential powerbroker after FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

Jan 8, 2015

Asia must remain united behind Blatter: official

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The Asian Football Confederation supports Sepp Blatter’s bid to secure a fifth consecutive term as FIFA president, according to AFC general secretary Alex Soosay.

Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein’s decision to run for world soccer’s top job has breathed new life into the presidential race but the 39-year-old faces an uphill task to convince members of Asia’s 47-nation bloc to abandon their backing for Blatter.

Jan 8, 2015

Soccer-Asia must remain united behind Blatter – official

MELBOURNE, Jan 9 (Reuters) – The Asian Football Confederation supports Sepp Blatter’s bid to secure a fifth consecutive term as FIFA president, according to AFC general secretary Alex Soosay.

Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein’s decision to run for world soccer’s top job has breathed new life into the presidential race but the 39-year-old faces an uphill task to convince members of Asia’s 47-nation bloc to abandon their backing for Blatter.

Jan 8, 2015

Australia praying for positive start in Asian Cup

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – An anxious Australia will hope to avert an attack of stage-fright in their Asian Cup opener against Kuwait on Friday which kicks off the biggest soccer tournament ever hosted in the sports-mad country.

Doubts have swirled around the young Socceroos lineup who have struggled to gel under new coach Ange Postecoglou and bring a record of one win from their 11 matches last year.

Jan 8, 2015

Soccer-Australia praying for positive start in Asian Cup

MELBOURNE, Jan 8 (Reuters) – An anxious Australia will hope to avert an attack of stage-fright in their Asian Cup opener against Kuwait on Friday which kicks off the biggest soccer tournament ever hosted in the sports-mad country.

Doubts have swirled around the young Socceroos lineup who have struggled to gel under new coach Ange Postecoglou and bring a record of one win from their 11 matches last year.

Jan 8, 2015

AFC to scrap mandatory woman vice-president – Dodd

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The Asian Football Confederation will no longer reserve one of its vice president positions exclusively for women in an amendment set to be put to an extraordinary congress on Friday, AFC vice president Moya Dodd confirmed on Thursday.

Australian lawyer Dodd, the sole woman among the AFC’s sitting vice presidents, also confirmed the congress in Melbourne would hear a proposal to create a fifth regional grouping of nations, with Central Asia to split from its current Central/South Asia zoning.

Jan 8, 2015

Soccer-AFC to scrap mandatory woman vice-president – Dodd

MELBOURNE, Jan 8 (Reuters) – The Asian Football Confederation will no longer reserve one of its vice president positions exclusively for women in an amendment set to be put to an extraordinary congress on Friday, AFC vice president Moya Dodd confirmed on Thursday.

Australian lawyer Dodd, the sole woman among the AFC’s sitting vice presidents, also confirmed the congress in Melbourne would hear a proposal to create a fifth regional grouping of nations, with Central Asia to split from its current Central/South Asia zoning.

    • About Ian

      "Based in home-town of Melbourne covering sports in Australia and New Zealand and a member of the Asia Sports desk. Previously covered general news and politics in Beijing with a special focus on the Beijing 2008 Olympics."
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