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2011 ASIAN CUP PAGES


Australia's national men's football team, the Qantas Socceroos, after their appearance at the FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010, now take on the pride of Asia - starting in Qatar in Group C with India, South Korea, and Bahrain:

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International Football: Men
Australia host Asian Cup in 2015

05/01/2011: Australia will host the AFC Asian Cup 2015 after the Asian Football Confederation Executive Committee unanimously voted to support its bid today. The nations Cup will see 16 of the top nations in Asia compete in January, 2015 and it will be played in eastern Australia with stadiums selected from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, and the Gold Coast...

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Competition Information:

History of the AFC Asian Cup

From its humble beginnings in 1956, the AFC Asian Cup has developed into the continent's premier football tournament, bringing together the top national teams from the length and breadth of Asia to compete for one of international football's most sought-after prizes every four years.

The tournament had it roots in the formation of the Asian Football Confederation in Manila in 1954. The 12 founder members of the AFC sought to shape the development of the game in Asia and one of the keys to achieving that aim was the organisation of a regional competition for the continent's international teams.

Just two years later, the first ever AFC Asian Cup was staged in Hong Kong with seven of the 12 affiliated national associations vying for the title of Asia's best football team.

Over half a century later, the AFC Asian CupTM has grown to encompass teams from throughout the continent and has become the barometer by which the continually changing balance of power in Asian football is measured.

From the dominance of Korea Republic in the early years of the competition, the Asian Cup became the providence of the mighty Iranians who won three consecutive tournaments from 1968 to 1976.

During the 1980s, the Gulf states asserted themselves with Kuwait becoming the first Arab side to win the competition in 1980 before Saudi Arabia claimed three of the next four championships, reaching the final five times in a row.

Japan's AFC Asian CupTM victories in 1992, 2000 and 2004 signaled a shift in power back to East Asia at the turn of the Millennium although the highly competitive nature of the most recent tournaments is a clear indication that competition remains keen among the sides looking to be crowned Asia's top national team, with Iraq winning in 2007.

Host nations:

The AFC Asian Cup 2007 marked the first time that the final rounds of a major international football competition were be co-hosted by four countries. In 2011 it is being hosted by Qatar, who are also the suprise host of World Cup 2022.

Competition Format:

Sixteen teams will contest the final rounds of the AFC Asian Cup 2011.

Format:

The matches in the qualifying round were played in groups according to a double round-robin league system, with each team playing all opponents in its group in home and away matches. Three points awarded for a win, one point for a draw, and no points for a defeat.

The winners and runners-up of each of the six groups at the conclusion of the qualifying round went through to the final rounds of the AFC Asian Cup 2011.

Tiebreakers:

If two or more teams in a group are equal on points on completion of the group matches, their places shall be determined as follows:

1. Greater number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned.
2. Goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned.
3. Greater number of goals scored in the group matches between the teams concerned (Away Goals do not apply in this stage of the competition).
4. Goal difference in all the group matches.
5. Kicks from the penalty mark if only two teams are involved and they are both on the field of play.
6. Drawing of lots.

KNOCKOUT STAGE

Quarter-finals:

The winners of each of the four groups will meet a runner-up from another group in the quarter-finals. All four quarter-finals will take place over one match with the winner progressing to the semi-finals. If the score is tied at the end of the regulation playing time, an extra two periods of 15 minutes each will be played. If the score is still level after extra time, the winners will be determined by kicks from the penalty mark.

Semi-finals:

The four winners of the quarter-finals play the semi-finals over one match with the winners progressing to the final. As with the quarter-finals, extra-time and penalties will be utilised in the event of a draw between two sides.

Final: The winners of the semi-finals play in the final to determine the AFC Asian Cup 2011 champions. As with the quarter-finals and semi-finals, extra-time and penalties will be utilised in the event of a draw between the two sides.

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