As the excitement builds ahead of the final of the Asian Football Confederation Under-23 Championship, all eyes are on the two title contenders, Vietnam and Uzbekistan. Neither team has ever made it beyond the group stage of the biennial championship prior to this year. Previous winners include Japan in 2016, who lost 4-0 in this year’s quarterfinals to Uzbekistan, and Iraq in 2013 (when it was the AFC U22 Cup), who lost in the quarterfinals on penalties (5-3) to none other than Vietnam. This year, both finalists lost a match in the group stage. Vietnam lost 2-1 to South Korea, but the Koreans were subsequently defeated by Uzbekistan in the semis, while Uzbekistan lost to Qatar 1-0, who then lost to Vietnam… also in the semis. As for goal stats, Uzbekistan has so far fared better than the more defensively minded Vietnam. The upcoming match is not the first time the two teams have met. Just last month, Vietnam’s U23 team lost 1-2 to Uzbekistan U23 at the M150-Cup in … [Read more...] about Vietnam vs Uzbekistan in U23 Asian Cup final: Who do you think will win?
Cup final odds
LONDON, Feb 28, 2011 (AFP) - Ben Foster admits Birmingham's stunning League Cup triumph against Arsenal gave him more satisfaction than his man of the match performance for Manchester United in the final two years ago. The goalkeeper is becoming something of a League Cup specialist after taking home a winners' medal from Wembley for the third successive season, but his two previous victories with United were simply a case of living up to expectations. Foster had been United's hero when they beat Tottenham on penalties in the 2009 League Cup final and was an unused substitute as Sir Alex Ferguson's team retained the trophy against Aston Villa last season. But helping Birmingham beat hot favourites Arsenal 2-1 in Sunday's final meant far more to England international Foster, whose series of fine saves kept the Blues in the match after Nikola Zigic's opener until Obafemi Martins snatched the last minute winner. "It's a great feeling. Today probably eclipses the other two because we were … [Read more...] about Foster revels in more League Cup glory
Substitute Ben Watson scored an injury-time winner to give Wigan Athletic a sensational 1-0 win over Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on Saturday in the biggest FA Cup final upset in 25 years. Victory represented a fairytale moment for the modest northwest club and their chairman, Dave Whelan, who punched the air with delight at the final whistle, after a shock that stands comparison with Wimbledon's 1988 success over Liverpool. He had earlier led the team onto the pitch, having broken his leg while playing for Blackburn Rovers in the 1960 FA Cup final in an incident that ended his top-level football career. Beneath driving rain, Wigan manager Roberto Martinez celebrated with his players on the pitch, as the Latics temporarily forgot their perilous fate in the Premier League, where they are on the brink of relegation. "You could see the goal coming -- the performance was magnificent. We deserved it," said Martinez. "You dream of playing at Wembley and winning. The … [Read more...] about Wigan stun Man City in FA Cup final upset
Ladies and gentlemen, the match has officially started, a voice on the public address system told those in Wembley's posh seats. Just in case there was any confusion, match being the loosest description for the most one-sided final in Wembley's history. Swansea City are the most emphatic winners of a major domestic cup competition since Bury defeated Derby County 6-0 at Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final in 1903. They make the all-time top three, behind Blackburn Rovers, who won 6-1 against The Wednesday in 1890 at Kennington Oval. Wembley, though, has never seen anything like this and neither has the League Cup. Manchester United defeated Wigan Athletic by four in the Millennium Stadium in 2006, the only time in the previous nine years when this final has been decided by more than the odd goal. Bradford: Duke, Darby, McHugh, McArdle, Good (Davies 46), Atkinson, Jones, Doyle, Thompson (Hines 73), Wells (McLaughlin 57), Hanson. Subs Not Used: … [Read more...] about Bradford City 0 Swansea 5: A different league… stylish Swans rout Bantams in Wembley’s most one-sided final
Roberto di Matteo's Chelsea side will face Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday with renewed hope of securing the top four finish that would guarantee their Champions League qualification. And while Liverpool have only pride to play for in the rematch, di Matteo's men were given fresh incentive as Newcastle and Tottenham stumbled in their quest for maximum points. Had either of those two teams won last weekend, Chelsea's hopes of finishing fourth in the Premier League would have all but disappeared. That would have left the Stamford Bridge club needing to win the Champions League final against Bayern Munich to ensure a return to Europe's premier club competition -- and consign the fourth-best team in England to the second-tier Europa League. But Chelsea could yet provide themselves with an insurance policy against losing the Champions League final by finishing fourth. That would happen if they beat Liverpool and Blackburn in their final two league games and Tottenham and Newcastle … [Read more...] about Chelsea aim for fresh Reds misery after FA Cup win