After a disappointing opening fixture of the Asian championships, matches in Group A continued on Saturday with China taking on Kuwait. A crowd of less than seven-thousand rattled around Doha’s Al Gharafa stadium, a ground with a capacity of four times that. Thanks to an interesting architectural design the view from our ‘VIP’ seats offered a full 40% panoramic view of the pitch. Instead we selected seats with both goals in sight, Togel Online more out of hope than anticipation.
Despite the paltry crowd, at least most people present were partisan supporters. The Kuwaitis, with their rhythmic clapping and occasional chanting, were greater in number and noise than their Chinese counterparts. The Chinese were clearly excited at the prospect of supporting their country, but collectively they seemed unsure as to how their encouragement should be expressed. The chant of ‘red card, red card’, bellowed out a full minute after Mesad Nada had been sent off for stamping on Yang Xu, left me a little confused, albeit amused.
As with the group’s opening encounter, a Middle Eastern team lacked ability where endeavour was abundant – a brave first half stalemate shattered as two second half goals were conceded to a team from further east. Kuwait and Qatar will swap opponents in the next round of matches, contests which are likely to confirm their early exit, and the progression of China and Uzbekistan into the quarter finals. Group A’s final fixtures are set to determine group winners and Middle Eastern pride.
Yesterday teams from Group B kick started their campaign, fighting for the right to face Group A’s top two in the next round. Three-time champions Japan took on Jordan in Doha and Saudi Arabia faced Syria in nearby Al Rayyan. With only an …