Friday, January 14, 2011

Saudi record dented again

This is only the second time Saudi Arabia’s proud and glittering record in the AFC Asian Cup has been dented with a humiliating group stage exit.

Since the Sons of the Desert’s first participation in the continental showcase in 1984, the West Asians have featured in the final without fail, save in 2004 and this edition.

They lifted the cup by beating China in their debut appearance in 1984 and kept it under lock and key by winning it again four years later after edging Korea Republic on penalties.

In 1992 they reached the final but lost to Japan by a solitary goal but came back with vigour to win the title for the third time in 1996, defeating the UAE on penalties.

In the year 2000, they lost to their great rivals Japan but it was in 2004 that their campaign ended in a shocking manner in the group stage. In China, they drew 2-2 with Turkmenistan, lost to Uzbekistan 1-0, and a 2-1 defeat to Iraq completed their rout. They ended with just one point at the rear of the table.

Four years later the Saudis were unstoppable or so it seemed until Iraq took the wind out of them in Jakarta. They lost 1-0 in the memorable final at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, a crushing defeat out of which it seems the team is still finding its way out.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...