Friday, January 21, 2011

AFC Cup Outrounds!

It's crunch time in Qatar and no...I'm not referring to the home stretch of a camel race. Today begins the out rounds of the AFC cup, and shockingly, for someone with absolutely no experience, I did pretty well on my predictions of the quarter finalists.

Japan, Uzbekistan, Australia, South Korea, Iran and Iraq all came through for me, with only China and Saudi Arabia (who fired two coaches in three matches) falling short. So the new darlings are Jordan and...yup...Qatar. I'm wondering if they're winning through illegality or through sheer antagonism towards the rest of the world.

If you've watched any of the highlights (Click here if you're interested) you may well have noticed the somewhat...generally...shall we say..."sparse" crowds at the matches. That's too kind: there are literally HUGE SWATHS of seats available at these games. Seriously, I've seen larger crowds at Craig Kilborn Fan Fests. My brother's high-school games were more attended than these matches...and they played in November...after shoveling snow off the field.

So, hey, if you want to go on vacation and see some international soccer in the lap of luxury: Qatar's the way to go. (It'll be easier now than in 11 years anyway).

We'll be back in a few days to check on the semi's which will have at least one starry-eyed dreamer playing with the World Cup perennials. (Good luck surviving that one Uzbekistan/Jordan)

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