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Favourites Japan, with Kagawa, ousted

The odds-on favourites, Japan, were ousted and failed to successfully defend their title. The 1992, 2000, 2004 and 2011 Asian champions surprisingly lost 5-4 on penalties, after a 1-1 (1-1, 0-0) draw over 120 minutes, to the team of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the quarter-finals. In front of 20,000 spectators at the Australia Stadium in Sydney, the Dortmund player Shinji Kagawa proved the jinx for the “Blue Samurai”, for the midfielder missed the decisive penalty ...

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China’s football in a vicious circle

The new Chinese state President Xi Jinping is an avowed football fan. And fottball has been included in the curriculum at 20,000 elementary and secondary schools. But China’s national football team can play however which way they want, in the end they are treated in the main with scorn by their own fans. Reaching the quarterfinals of the Asia Cup in Australia with a 100 per cent record after three games would be reason enough to heap praise on the young team ...

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Asian football on trial

An Asian Championship Down Under is hard to get your head around at first glance. But the demarcation is not that strict in football. Consequently, a new chapter in the history of the 50-year-old event was opened with the kick-off of the 16th Continental Championships in Melbourne on January 9. Australia had left the Oceania Confederation in 2005 and joined the Asian Confederation, with the convenient side effect that the “Socceroos” have since then qualified three times in a row for the World Cup finals ...

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Galaxy champions again as Donovan bades farewell

Los Angeles Galaxy have won their fifth championship title in the North American Professional Football League MLS. At the conclusion of Landon Donovan’s great career the favourites defeated the New England Revolution, with former Schalke player Jermaine Jones, 2-1 (1-1, 0-0) after extra time on the night which stretched from Sunday to Monday (December 7-8). “Galaxy enjoyed the great advantage of playing the final at home ...

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Jones and New England on track for the final

The 19th season of the Major League Soccer (MLS) is getting close to its final stages with increasing tension and a German-born top star. Jermaine Jones, born in Frankfurt and who played seven years with Schalke 04, is the man of the moment in this North American Professional Soccer League ...