Sub-editor/Correspondent, Singapore
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Jan 21, 2015

Is expansion good or bad for Asian Cup?

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has lauded the record lack of draws at the ongoing Asian Cup in Australia, but the absence of tied matches raises questions about the competitiveness of future 24-team expanded editions.

Five of the quarter-finalists at the 16-team tournament in Australia qualified with a group game to spare, with six of the first 20 matches being won by at least a three-goal margin.

Jan 21, 2015

Soccer-Is expansion good or bad for Asian Cup?

SINGAPORE, Jan 21 (Reuters) – The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has lauded the record lack of draws at the ongoing Asian Cup in Australia, but the absence of tied matches raises questions about the competitiveness of future 24-team expanded editions.

Five of the quarter-finalists at the 16-team tournament in Australia qualified with a group game to spare, with six of the first 20 matches being won by at least a three-goal margin.

Jan 11, 2015

Struggling Wilkins supports Prince Ali’s FIFA bid

By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) – Jordan coach Ray Wilkins is convinced Prince Ali bin Al Hussein is the right man to clean up FIFA’s tarnished image and the former England captain will be hoping the royal can reciprocate his support in a similarly tough battle.

The 58-year-old former Chelsea, Manchester United and AC Milan midfielder has struggled in his fourth months in charge of the West Asians, suffering six defeats and a draw in his opening friendly matches ahead of the Asian Cup.

Jan 11, 2015

Soccer-Struggling Wilkins supports Prince Ali’s FIFA bid

Jan 11 (Reuters) – Jordan coach Ray Wilkins is convinced Prince Ali bin Al Hussein is the right man to clean up FIFA’s tarnished image and the former England captain will be hoping the royal can reciprocate his support in a similarly tough battle.

The 58-year-old former Chelsea, Manchester United and AC Milan midfielder has struggled in his fourth months in charge of the West Asians, suffering six defeats and a draw in his opening friendly matches ahead of the Asian Cup.

Jan 2, 2015

Plucky Palestine ready to surprise Down Under

By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) – Palestine’s first Asian Cup finals appearance is likely to end in three defeats and a group stage exit but the rank outsiders have long proved capable of punching above their weight.

They held China to a goalless draw in an Asian Cup warm up in December to give them hope of taking points from a tricky Group D featuring Jordan and the last two winners of the continental tournament — Iraq and Japan.

Jan 2, 2015

Wilkins struggling for right formula with Jordan

By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) – When Ray Wilkins took charge of Jordan in September the former England captain boldly stated he wanted to win the Asian Cup, but three tough months later he could not be any further from his aim.

Wilkins and his assistant, former Manchester United and Arsenal striker Frank Stapleton, have managed only five defeats and a draw in friendly matches since taking over, a tough learning curve in Jordanian and Asian football.

Jan 2, 2015

Soccer-Plucky Palestine ready to surprise Down Under

Jan 2 (Reuters) – Palestine’s first Asian Cup finals appearance is likely to end in three defeats and a group stage exit but the rank outsiders have long proved capable of punching above their weight.

They held China to a goalless draw in an Asian Cup warm up in December to give them hope of taking points from a tricky Group D featuring Jordan and the last two winners of the continental tournament — Iraq and Japan.

Jan 2, 2015

Soccer-Wilkins struggling for right formula with Jordan

Jan 2 (Reuters) – When Ray Wilkins took charge of Jordan in September the former England captain boldly stated he wanted to win the Asian Cup, but three tough months later he could not be any further from his aim.

Wilkins and his assistant, former Manchester United and Arsenal striker Frank Stapleton, have managed only five defeats and a draw in friendly matches since taking over, a tough learning curve in Jordanian and Asian football.

Dec 31, 2014

Age old problems leave Asian Cup an open race

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The Asian Cup heads to Australia for the first time next month with the scars of a woeful 2014 World Cup for the continent and the recurring problems of match-fixing and swift sackings leaving the tournament wide open.

Holders Japan are favourites to win a record extending fifth continental title but dark clouds hang over their coach Javier Aguirre after he became embroiled in a Spanish match-fixing case dating back to his time as Real Zaragoza boss.

Dec 31, 2014

Soccer-Age old problems leave Asian Cup an open race

SINGAPORE, Dec 31 (Reuters) – The Asian Cup heads to Australia for the first time next month with the scars of a woeful 2014 World Cup for the continent and the recurring problems of match-fixing and swift sackings leaving the tournament wide open.

Holders Japan are favourites to win a record extending fifth continental title but dark clouds hang over their coach Javier Aguirre after he became embroiled in a Spanish match-fixing case dating back to his time as Real Zaragoza boss.