Chief Sports Correspondent, Asia
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Jan 22, 2015

S. Korea and Uzbekistan create chances but no goals in Melbourne

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – South Korea and Uzbekistan both created plenty of chances but were deadlocked 0-0 after an action-packed first half of the opening quarter-final of the Asian Cup at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on Thursday.

With a semi-final meeting against Iran or Iraq at stake, this was no dour stalemate and both sides attacked with brio and defended with a muscularity that often bordered on the illegal.

Jan 22, 2015

Uzbekistan, S.Korea make two changes each for quarter-final

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – South Korea and Uzbekistan have both made two changes to their starting line-ups for the first Asian Cup quarter-final at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on Thursday.

South Korea’s German coach Ulrich Stielike has, as expected, recalled Son Heung-min to his team after the forward was only able to play off the bench in their final group match against hosts Australia because of illness.

Jan 20, 2015

Socceroos goalkeeper Ryan’s stock rises and rises

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia goalkeeper Mat Ryan has his eyes fixed firmly on Asian Cup success over the next couple of weeks but thereafter looks set to ride his fine form in the ‘green and gold’ to a move to a top European club side.

Not that he is desperate to leave Club Brugge, where he signed a new four-year deal last November and retained the Belgium Pro League goalkeeper of the year title last month.

Jan 20, 2015

Soccer-Socceroos goalkeeper Ryan’s stock rises and rises

SYDNEY, Jan 20 (Reuters) – Australia goalkeeper Mat Ryan has his eyes fixed firmly on Asian Cup success over the next couple of weeks but thereafter looks set to ride his fine form in the ‘green and gold’ to a move to a top European club side.

Not that he is desperate to leave Club Brugge, where he signed a new four-year deal last November and retained the Belgium Pro League goalkeeper of the year title last month.

Jan 19, 2015

Qatar’s Asian Cup flop augurs ill for 2018 World Cup shot

SYDNEY (Reuters) – The furore over the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar shows no sign of abating and a miserable Asian Cup showing by the Gulf nation indicates critics could soon have a solid footballing argument for opposing the move.

If Qatar fail to make it to the next World Cup in Russia in 2018, they would be the first hosts since the earliest days of the tournament never to have competed in a finals before welcoming soccer’s showpiece event to their own shores.

Jan 17, 2015

Troicki crushes Kukushkin to win Sydney title

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Serbian Viktor Troicki took a big step on his comeback trail after a doping ban by ruthlessly dismantling fellow qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin 6-2 6-3 to win the Sydney International on Saturday.

The 28-year-old righthander, who returned to action last July after serving a one-year ban for missing a dope test, took just over an hour to claim his second career ATP title.

Jan 17, 2015

Tennis-Troicki crushes Kukushkin to win Sydney title

SYDNEY, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Serbian Viktor Troicki took a big step on his comeback trail after a doping ban by ruthlessly dismantling fellow qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin 6-2 6-3 to win the Sydney International on Saturday.

The 28-year-old righthander, who returned to action last July after serving a one-year ban for missing a dope test, took just over an hour to claim his second career ATP title.

Jan 16, 2015

Kvitova downs fellow Czech Pliskova to win Sydney title

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Petra Kvitova completed her preparations for an assault on a third grand slam title in triumphant style on Friday by downing fellow Czech Karolina Pliskova 7-6 7-6 to win the Sydney International title.

It was a contest every bit as close as the scoreline would suggest with the two Czech six-footers pounding the ball off the flexicushion surface at each other for one hour and 51 minutes.

Jan 15, 2015

What a turn! Queiroz lauds Iran’s winner

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Carlos Queiroz worked with some of the best strikers in the world at Manchester United and Real Madrid and reckoned the turn that allowed Sardar Azmoun to score Iran’s winner at the Asian Cup on Thursday was worthy of any of them.

Iran’s match against Qatar was deadlocked at 0-0 six minutes into the second half when Sardar took Ashkan Dejagah’s pass on the edge of the box and turned Almahdi Ali Mukhtar brilliantly before poking the ball into the net.

Jan 15, 2015

Inexperienced Qatar pay for errors at Asian Cup

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Qatar coach Djamel Belmadi thinks his side has a bright future, including potentially when the Gulf State hosts the 2022 World Cup, despite crashing out of the Asian Cup on Thursday after two defeats.

The Qataris came to Australia with high hopes after winning the Gulf Cup at the end of last year but a 4-1 humbling by United Arab Emirates and Thursday’s 1-0 defeat to Iran means they will go home next week.

    • About Nick

      "Nick recently moved into his new role in Sydney after five years in China, where he covered the run-up to the Beijing Olympics and the growth of the world's most populous country as a sporting superpower. In more than a decade at Reuters, Nick has reported on a wide variety of events, from the sedate confines of the All England Club to the rarified atmosphere of Everest Base Camp for the ascent of the Olympic flame."
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