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AFC Asian Cup: A Glimpse through the Round of 16...

Rohit Ganguly  |  Asian Cup  |  4 Weeks Ago

The Round of 16 in AFC Asian Cup came to a close yesterday with the top eight teams of Asia edging past their counterparts to set up their respective quarter-final meets which is supposed to resume from Thursday.



There was not one single cagey affair and all the teams took a flight to belt out spectacular performances in what you label them as an attacking brand of football. Jersey Football Magazine will take you through the games in the briefest way possible. Stay hooked:

 

 Vietnam versus Jordan: The Golden Dragons took a late flight to pen history. Vietnam 1(4) vs Jordan 1(2)



In a high-octane encounter, Vietnam pipped Jordan via a penalty shootout after the scores remained at an impasse at the end of extra time.



Jordan surged ahead towards the close of the first half as Baha’ Abdel Rahman pulled off a Toni Kroos to give them the lead against the wind of the play. He belted out a curler into the far post from an indirect free-kick.



Vietnam doubled their efforts after they trailed despite a dominant first half and their salvo paid off handsome dividends too early into the second. Nguyen Phuong latched on to a picture-perfect cross to restore parity for the Dragons.



In the penalty shootout, it was Baha the goal scorer, who went on to miss his penalty to dampen the spirits of a high-soaring Jordan. The very next spot-kick from Jordan snuffed out all their hopes of advancement as the Vietnamese custodian, Dang, denied Ahmed Samir his share of joy.



Despite Shafi pulling off a late save to restore hopes for the Jordan outfit, Tien Dung converted his final penalty to take the Dragons hammer and tongs into the next round.

 
China versus Thailand: The Thai goalie’s butter fingers let the Chinese contingency pass through. China 2 vs 1 Thailand



After suffering a crushing defeat in their opener against India, Thailand did manage to rally back into the tournament and seemed to be advancing to the quarters without much fuss only if their goalkeeper knew to keep the ball under control.



Right since the outset of the game, the Thai custodian, Siwarak Tedsungnoen let the ball slip from his grasp several times. The referee came to his deliverance twice as his whistle compelled China to let go of the loose ball and the Thai defenders managed to pull off a few remarkable blocks.



It was Supachai Jaided who drew first blood for Thailand after he tucked the ball home into the bottom-left corner with a swift turn.



Xiao Jhi restored parity for the Chinese after he slammed the rebound from his own header into the net. It was once again Siwarak at the end of the header who could have put an end to the move by simply gripping it. However, his attempt to parry it left the ball at the feet of Xhi, who made no mistake.



Just a couple of minutes after the equalizer, Thailand’s defender, Chalermpong Kerdkaew rattled into an advancing Lin Gao and the latter came crashing down. The referee wasted no time in pointing to the dreaded spot. It was Lin Gao who stepped up and fired the penalty home to advance to the quarters.
 





Iran versus Oman: Asia’s top contender knows to make the right sound at the right place. Iran 2 vs 0 Oman



Instead of more of Iran’s goal for their first, it was a gift from their Omani counterparts. A hopeful long ball was released from the Iran defence in order to find Alireza Jahanbaksh. However, the ball found Mohammed Al-Musalami at the end of it and the Oman defender chested the ball down for an onrushing Alireza to slot home.



Iran’s second goal came from a controversial spot-kick as Saad Al-Mukhaini tripped Taremi in the box. However, several angles confirmed that it was clean defending and the Iranian lost balance. However, Iran made full use of the opportunity and Dejagah slotted the ball home to take Iran into the next round.



 Japan versus Saudi Arabia: It wasn’t much of a bombing for Japan but they got their bullet in the right place. Japan 1 vs 0 Saudi Arabia



Despite Saudi Arabia’s repeated knocks on the Japanese door, they couldn’t make inroads against a resolute Japan rearguard.



It was Takehiro Tomiyasu who headed home from a Yoshinori Muto corner kick to take the Japanese contingency ahead. After a few mix-ups in the box, Tomiyasu freed himself from his marker and scored with consummate ease to advance Japan into the quarters.

 

Australia versus Uzbekistan: The Socceroos’ leap to the next round was based on Matthew Ryan’s heroics and not faith. Australia 0(4) vs 0(2) Uzbekistan



A thrilling penalty shootout laced with some cool dancing moves from Matthew Ryan and a couple of brilliant shot-stopping sealed the fate of the encounter.



The match ended in a stalemate after 120 minutes of incessant attacking football. Neither of the teams backed out of the contest.



Australia survived an early scare as Uzbekistan’s custodian, Nesterov, got a touch to Matt Milligan’s penalty. His bravado reaped handsome dividends as he went on to palm away Aziz Behich’s spot-kick with his strong hands. However, the joys were short-lived for Uzbekistan as Ryan instantly denied Islom his shard of joy as he stood tall to stave away the penalty.
 

It was Ryan again who hogged the limelight to dive to his right, parrying off a Marat spot-kick to temporarily cover up Australia’s defensive woes, as they sailed to the quarterfinals. Thanks to Matthew Leckie who powered his penalty past a hapless Nesterov.

 

UAE versus Kyrgyzstan: Drama, more drama and scintillating five goals are all that took the match to the highest standards. UAE 3 vs 2 Kyrgyzstan



In an enthralling goalfest, UAE came out on top, thanks to a penalty in the first half of extra time that saw them through.



Khamis Esmaeel scored early into the game from a corner, after being teed up by Ali Makhbout. Despite having a touch on the ball, the custodian failed to thwart the powerful header.



The White Falcons restored parity in quick succession as Mirlan Murzaev rounded off the UAE custodian with blistering speed and slammed it into a couple of diving UAE defenders who couldn’t just keep the ball out.



It was Ali Makhbout who gave the lead to UAE again after he blasted the ball home from close range as the Kyrgyzstan defenders went to sleep, contemplating an offside call.  



Rustamov equalized in the dying embers of the game after he scored at the near post rising high above all UAE defenders.



The most experienced UAE campaigner, Ahmed Khalil stepped up and powered his penalty home in the extra time to usher UAE into the quarters, thanks to a botched up push on Ali Makhbout who made full use of his theatrical skills to amplify its effect.
 





The Korea Republic versus Bahrain: Premier League midfielder is still to impact this Korean side. Korea Republic 2 vs 1 Bahrain



A slugfest which witnessed a combined total of 33 shots being fired at both ends, culminated into Korea's advancement to the quarterfinals. 



Korea took the lead in the dying embers of the first half through their 22-year-old winger, Hwang Hee-chan after the youngster kept his composure to slot the ball home from close range. 

 

Bahrain's goalie did pull off a stunning save, courtesy of his aquiline reflexes, but the rebound fell to Hwang, who nudged the ball home with consummate ease.



However, Bahrain rallied back to restore parity 15 minutes from the end of regulation time as Romaihi struck the ball into the top net with brute force following a goal-line save from a Korean defender.



South Korea surged ahead in the first half of the extra time as Kim Jin-Su headed a peach of delivery into the far post, leaving the Bahrain custodian and the entire contingency stranded.




Qatar versus Iran: One moment of individual brilliance left Iran grounded. Qatar 1 vs 0 Iran



Bassam Al-Rawi's stupendous free-kick stole the show for Qatar. Despite a technically advanced Iran emptying their arsenal to find their equaliser, their profligacy in the final third left the fans begging for more.






 

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