2015 AFC Asian Cup: Korea Republic, IR Iran headline Weekend's Winners
Santino Honasan on Jan 13, 2015 01:40 AM
(Photo Courtesy of www.afcasiancup.com) Cho Young-cheol scored his first international goal to propel Korea Republic to a 1-0 win over Oman
The 2015 AFC Asian Cup continued over the weekend, with former champions Korea Republic and IR Iran among the five clubs who got a taste of their first victories in the group stage.
Match Day 2, which took place on Saturday, saw two-time champions Korea Republic (South Korea) pick up their first win of the tournament after defeating Oman, 1-0 at the Canberra Stadium. Winger Cho Young-cheol scored his first international goal just before the halftime break, capitalizing on an open net as Oman’s star goalie Ali Al-Habsi was unable to get back up in time after defending an earlier South Korean attempt.
Oman’s Amad Al Hosni had an opportunity to score an equalizer with an on-target header from a corner in injury time, but South Korean keeper Kim Jin-hyeon was able to pull off an excellent save to preserve the win for the Taegum Warriors.
Korea Republic and Australia now lead Group A with a win apiece, while Oman and Kuwait find themselves in the bottom half of the group with one loss each.
Match Day 2 also saw Group B action as Uzbekistan defeated Korea DPR (North Korea) 1-0 and China bested Saudi Arabia, 1-0.
Uzbek striker Igor Sergeev recorded his fifth international goal in the 62nd minute, scoring on a header from Server Djeparov assist to give the White Wolves their first win of the tournament. Meanwhile, winger Yu Hai provided late game heroics for China, converting on a free kick that ended up being the game winning goal.
Uzbekistan and China sit at the top of Group B with one win each after the first set of matches.
In Sunday’s Match Day 3 action, three-time Asian Cup champions Iran kicked off their Asian Cup tournament with a 2-0 win over Bahrain in Group C.
Ehsan Hajsafi got things going for Team Melli, scoring just before halftime off a cleared corner kick. In the 71st minute, the corner kick once again proved to be beneficial for Iran, as Masoud Shojaei made it 2-0 for Iran from a corner kick by Andranik Teymourian.
Iranian keeper Alireza Haghighi was also a big presence on defense, forcing the shutout of Bahrain with five saves.
In earlier Group C action, the United Arab Emirates demolished Qatar with a 4-1 final tally.
Ahmed Khalil and Ali Mabkhout both scored braces for the Al-Abyad, while Qatari winger Khalfan Ibrahim scored his 19th international goal for the Al-Annabi’s lone goal.
UAE now holds the top spot in Group C, with Iran sitting at second.
Match Day 2 (Saturday, January 10)
- Korea Republic 1 – 0 Oman
- Uzbekistan 1 – 0 Korea DPR
- Saudi Arabia 0 – 1 China
Match Day 3 (Sunday, January 11)
- United Arab Emirates 4 – 1 Qatar
- Iran 2 – 0 Bahrain