Asian Cup : Interesting Facts – Part 1

With the 2019 Asian Cup firmly underway we at 48 Shades decided to have a look back at some of the previous tournaments and bring you some of the interesting facts that may, or may not, shape this year’s tournament.


1. Japan


I. Heroes to Zeros

Japan have won the Asian Cup twice since 2004 but on each of the consecutive tournaments have had a nightmare….is 2019 their year again?

2004 Champions
2007 4th
2011 Champions
2015 Quarter Finalist
2019 ?

II. Making the last 16s in the World Cup helps

Each time Japan has qualified for the knockout stages of the World Cup they’ve gone to win the next Asian Cup. in 2018 they surprised many and made it out of the groups!

2002 WC : Last 16s = 2004 Asian Cup : Champions
2006 WC : Group stage exit = 2007 Asian Cup : 4th
2010 WC : Last 16s = 2011 Asian Cup : Champions
2014 WC : Group stage exit = 2015 Asian Cup : Quarter Finalist
2018 WC : Last 16s = 2019 Asian Cup : ?

III. The curse of the Japanese Slayers

When Japan do crash out the Asian Cup their victors lose their very next match.

1996 Asian Cup : Kuwait beat Japan in Quarter Final, they lost to UAE in Semis

2007 Asian Cup : Saudi Arabia beat Japan in Semi Final, they lost to Iraq in Final

2015 Asian Cup : UAE beat Japan in Quarter Final A.E.T., they lost to Australia in Semis

IV. They have never lost in the Final

1992 Asian Cup : v Saudi
2000 Asian Cup : v Saudi
2004 Asian Cup : v China
2011 Asian Cup : v Australia

Japan lifting the 2011 Asian Cup

2. South Korea

I. Since 1972, they have never lost the first match.

In each Group Stage since 1972 Korea have either won or drawn their opening match, including against potential banana skins such as Iraq, Saudi and China.

1972 v Iraq 0-0
1980 v Malaysia 1-1
1984 v Saudi Arabia 1-1
1988 v UAE 1-0
1996 v UAE 1-1
2000 v China 2-2
2004 v Jordan 0-0
2007 v Saudi Arabia 1-1
2011 v Bahrain 2-1
2015 v Oman 1-0
2019 v Philippines 1-0

II. Since 2000, they won all the last group stage matches.

Boasting a pretty fantastic Group Stage record, Korea have won all of their final matches….China is up next!

2000 v Indonesia 3-0
2004 v Kuwait 4-0
2007 v Indonesia 1-0
2011 v India 4-1
2015 v Australia 1-0
2019 v China ?

III. They have never won a Final

That’s correct since 1972 Korea have graced the final with their presence a total of four times, losing each one. Three have gone to extra-time. Fifth time a charm for the Taegeuk Warriors or will the hurt continue?

1972 v Iran 1-2 AET
1980 v Kuwait 0-3
1988 v Saudi Arabia 0-0 AET(3-4)
2015 v Australia 1-2 AET

IV. Since 1988, they have never failed to proceed to Knockout stages

With the 1-0 win over The Philippines and the game tonight against Kirghistan that run looks very much like continuing.

A devastated Son in 2015!

3. China

I. Since 1992, when China is in knockout stage, all the Tournament winners beat them on the way to the trophy.

1992 Japan
1996 Saudi Arabia
2000 Japan
2004 Japan
2015 Australia

China losing to the 2015 Asian Cup winners Australia

4. Saudi Arabia

I. When it rains, it pours. Once Saudi steps into knockout stage, they always get to the final

They started this Asian Cup with a 3-1 victory over North Korea… will history repeat itself?


Can the senior squad repeat the u19 success?

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