Thursday, January 27, 2011

Australia vs Japan Final Match: Asian Cup 2011

The AFC Asian Cup 2011 is coming to an end with the final match between Japan and Australia that is scheduled to be held on 29 January 2011. These two teams will take on each other at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha. Fans of both teams can watch this match live on 18:00 local time (15:00 GMT).

It is going to be the second meeting for both Japan and Australia at the sub-continental football tournament. Australia faced Japan four years ago when they made their first appearance in the Asian Cup tournament and was beaten by Japan in the quarter-final round. Japan defeated them in the penalty shootout and moved into the semi-final round.

So, the match against Japan is going to be a big opportunity for Australia to take revenge for their defeat in the last edition in 2007. However, this time, both teams will be seen competing against each other for title.

Japan ensured their place in the final round after defeating the strong look South Korea on penalty shootout. They had to face tough challenge when they took on Korea. However, fans could see an exciting and nail biting match between them.

On the other hand, Australia got an easy victory against Uzbekistan in another semi-final match. The Socceroos bet the Uzbeks by 6-0. Despite their huge victory in the semi-final round, it will not make any big difference between the two finalist teams.

Injury will be a big problem for Japan as their key player, Shinji Kagawa, cannot play in the final match due to his leg injury. He fractured his metatarsal during the semi-final match against South Korea.

At first, it was thought that his injury was not big and he could join the club to play against Australia in the final match. However, scan showed that the 21-year-old player broken a metatarsal bone in his right foot. So, he will stay out when his team will fight for the trophy.

No doubt, it has come as a big blow for Japan coach, Alberto Zaccheroni. He should find a suitable player to replace him for the post.

Shinji Kagawa has great contribution behind Japan’s achievement to play in the final as he scored an important goal in Japan’s 3-2 win over Qatar and played well in the semi-final match over Korea.

Shinji Kagawa is a star player in the German football club, Borussia Dortmund. He has the possibility to move to English football club Manchester United. But it seems that his injury will delay his move to Europe.

Japan’s goalkeeper, Eiji Kawashima, will be the main attraction of Saturday’s match. His heroic effort in the semi-final match helped Japan to move into the final round. He saved two penalties against South Korea. So, opponent team will have to struggle hard to score a goal against Japan.

Japan is hoping to make a record of winning their fourth Asian Cup title this year. Before that, they won the title in 1992, 2000 and 2004.

Australia wants to win the trophy for the first time since making their appearance in the Asian Cup.

No doubt, it will be a tough game between these two teams. Let’s see who will win the match.

ESPN STAR Sports will broadcast this match live. If you are the citizen of Australia then you can watch it on Fox Sports.