Teams from West Asia won better results in Doha Asian Games
soccer tournament, but it does not suggests their superiority over
those from East Asia.
West Asian teams look like gaining huge advantage with all
medals in hand, but the process of the competitions told a
China and South Korea were beaten by their respective West Asian
rivals but they played well during the competition.
China lost to Iran 8-7 in penalty shoot-out after the two sides
drew 2-2 after extra time in the quarter-finals on Dec. 9. But
China played well and gained slight advantage in second half and
extra time even after they had a player sent off.
China's performance won the respect from Iranian side. Iranian
Coach Rodrigues Simoes praised Chinese team and some Iranian
players admitted luck was on their side.
South Korea totally controlled the semi-final match against
Iraq, with 22 shots and 10 of them on goal. But South Korean side
lost 0-1 to Iraq, who only had five shots in 90 minutes, two of
which on goal.
For Iraq, it was a miracle.
South Korean coach Per Verbeek said his players wasted too many
chances while Iraq grasped the sole opportunity and won the
During the bronze medal match with Iran, South Korea also gained
huge advantage but again failed to score. They lost the match 0-1
after extra time.
Iranian coach Rodrigues gave credit to South Korea after the
He also admitted the results did not mean West Asia now gained
superiority over East Asia in soccer, saying it was "too early" to
He also cited the match between Iraq and South Korea, suggesting
South Korea was the better side but lost the game.
Meanwhile, Japan, another soccer powerhouse from East Asia, did
not send its best players to Doha, and failed to enter the last
eight after losing to North Korea.
As for women's soccer, East Asian teams do have superiority in
Asia, with last four teams all from East Asia, including champions
North Korea, Japan, China and South Korea.
(Xinhua News Agency December 16, 2006)