The first point about the Asian Cup is how disappointing the crowds are. If I am disappointed with 10,000 turning up at Parramatta park for Sydney, then what about what looked like 30 family and friends for the Korean champions? I know it was mid week and looked cold over in Korea but that stadium was empty. A few more people need to see these Asian games for the business opportunities to be realised.
I thought Sydney were unlucky. They had a goal disallowed in the first half because the officials thought Rudan had lent too heavily on a defender in heading the ball in. Of the 6 offsides called against Sydney, only 2 were. And Alex Brosque was away by 10 metres for one of these mistakes. Also, some of the Sydney yellow cards were soft. Which could hurt Sydney by the time of the final game. This game could have been 6-0. Persik more or less closed down the game in the first half - with a fortress defence. But as Sydney picked up the pace in the second half, they could not keep up. Last week Persik showed us the benefit of an inhospitable home ground (Indian cricket teams have used this tactic for years - play on unique pitches and you get a home town advantage, unfortunately if you get to uniquely adapted you find hard to win away from this environment).
For Adelaide, Richie Alagich had misfortune last night. One minute he nearly set up a cracking header of a near miss for Fernando, the next he gave the ball away to Choi Sung-kuk who scored from the left, outside the box, a curling lob that landed in the top right hand of the goal. The only goal of the match. Actually, Seongnam under-played the game. They just wanted to make sure they won. And there were no fans for them to entertain. By the way, Diego didn't seem to do much at all (unlike all the other Asian Cup teams' Brazilians), I noticed in the A-League that some games he starred and others he was invisible.
However, the most interesting group game of the night was Vietnamese team Dong Tam who scored twice to push Chinese super team Shandong to 2-3. Shandong have won all 4 matches. And Dong Tam lost all 4. Dong Tam had lost at home to Adelaide 0-2, while Shandong had beaten Seongnam 2-1.
I think all this means that the A-League's 1st showing in Asia hasn't been that bad. Not too shabby, even quite good in patches. But we need to learn more about the approaches to refereeing, the hot and cold weather, how we can match the outcomes of some vast budgets and large squads, and perhaps the key to all of these - how to take advantage of the business opportunities without selling the farm.