Tuesday 16 February 2010

China Wins 2010 East Asian Football Championship

Congratulations to China PR who emerged victorious and were the only unbeaten team during the 4-team 2010 East Asian Football Championship Finals held in Tokyo, Japan between 6 and 14 February 2010.

Here are the final table standings following 6 competitive games:

Perhaps not so widely known is that there were a total of 19 cautions and 2 send-offs: China PR picked up 6 cautions; Korea Republic had 5 cautions and 1 send-off; Japan had 4 cautions and 1 send-off; and Hong Kong picked up 4 cautions. As a result, Hong Kong were awarded the Fair Play Award for the EAFC 2010.

The Match Officials were:
Match Commissioner CHANG Chin Po /TPE

Matthew CREAM /AUS



NG Kai Lam /HKG

CHOW Chun Kit /HKG



KIM Jong Hyeok /KOR

LEE Jung Min /KOR

Here are the match highlights of the final match between Japan and Korea Republic:
Japan 1 v 3 Korea Rep : Match Highlights

China takes East Asian Championship (China Daily)
TOKYO: The China national football team emerged victors of the East Asian Football Championship beating a gritty China's Hong Kong team 2-0 at the National Stadium in Tokyo on Sunday to win the tournament with seven points from three games.

Second-placed South Korea, who were defending the title, helped China's plight with a convincing 3-1 win over arch rivals Japan in a hotly contested game that saw both World Cup-bound teams finish the game with only ten men.

"Being champions marks a change for Chinese football," said China's head coach Gao Hongbo following China being presented with the East Asian Football Championship trophy and a check for 500, 000 U.S. dollars at the tournament's presentation ceremony.

"Chinese football is underdeveloped compared to the likes of Japan and South Korea, but winning this tournament is not just about the national team, it's a reward for everyone working in China's football industry," he said.

"I'm extremely happy with the team's performance over the past seven months as our world ranking has improved by more than twenty places and winning the East Asian Football Championship represents the strength of Chinese football," said Gao.

China's 0-0 stalemate against a below-par Japan in their opener, which caused a stir for the host nation as the team and particularly head coach Takeshi Okada were booed off the pitch despite Okada's men beating Hong Kong 3-0 in their previous game, bolstered China's resolve ahead of their monumental clash with South Korea.

However, the result for Japan and the hammer-blow dealt to the hosts by South Korea on Sunday, resulting in Japan finishing in third place with four points, will be of grave concern for Okada with the World Cup in South Africa only four months away.

China, described as "vastly improved" by Okada following their opening tie, went on to thrash South Korea 3-0 in an historic victory that brought an end to 32-years of fruitless results against the Koreans, and a resounding second half performance on Sunday against bottom-placed Hong Kong was enough for China to take the title in 2010, having first won the tournament in 2005.

South Korean coach Huh Jong-moo applauded the performance of his players following their crushing defeat of Japan, saying it was: "A fantastic new year's gift for his team and the South Korean people," adding that the tournament had been a valuable opportunity to test new players in the absence of missing players in Europe and to evaluate the squad's strengths.

Meanwhile Japan's national team coach Takeshi Okada, seemingly loosing the public's faith in his ability to steer the team forward as indicated by more booing from the Japanese fans after Sunday's must-win game for Japan, apologized for not winning the tournament at home soil.

"We were extremely sorry not to win the tournament, said Japan coach Okada, adding that his team, hotly tipped from the get-go to win the tournament, ahead of their World Cup campaign, lacked urgency in their final game against South Korea.

"There is no magic solution and the team won't be overhauled, but we were too patient and needed to change our objective and apply more pressure when it was necessary," said Okada.

China's women's football team also ended their East Asian Football Championship campaign on a high on Saturday, disposing of bottom-placed Chinese Taipei with a comfortable 3-0 victory to secure second place in the tournament.

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