2015 AFC Asian Cup

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2015 AFC Asian Cup
2015 AFC Asian Cup crest.png
Tournament details
Host country  Australia
Dates 9 – 31 January
Teams 16 (from 1 confederation)
Venue(s) 5 (in 5 host cities)
Final positions
Champions  Australia (1st title)
Runners-up  South Korea
Third place  United Arab Emirates
Fourth place  Iraq
Tournament statistics
Matches played 32
Goals scored 85 (2.66 per match)
Attendance 671,705 (20,991 per match)
Top scorer(s) United Arab Emirates Ali Mabkhout
(5 goals)
Best player Australia Massimo Luongo
Best goalkeeper Australia Mathew Ryan
Fair play award  Australia
2011
2019
Result of countries participating in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup

The 2015 AFC Asian Cup was the 16th edition of the AFC Asian Cup, an international football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). It was held in Australia from 9 to 31 January 2015.[1] The tournament was won by Australia after defeating South Korea 2–1 in extra time in the final, thereby earning the right to participate in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, which is to be hosted by Russia. The win was Australia's first Asian title since their move from the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) in 2006. It was also the first time a team has become champions of two confederations, following Australia's four OFC Nations Cup titles: 1980, 1996, 2000 and 2004.

Australia was chosen as the host on 5 January 2011, after being the sole bidder for the right to host the 2015 tournament. The matches were played in five different stadiums across five cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle. It was the first time that Australia had hosted the tournament, and it was also the first time the Asian Cup had been held outside the continent of Asia. As hosts, Australia automatically qualified for the final tournament, while the remaining 15 finalists (with the exception of Japan and South Korea who qualified via their top three position in the previous Asian Cup) were decided through a qualification process, featuring 44 teams, from February 2013 to March 2014.

The final tournament was played in two stages: the group stage and the knockout stage. In the group stage each team played three games in a group of four, with the winners and runners-up from each group advancing to the knockout stage. In the knockout stage the eight teams competed in single-elimination matches, beginning with the quarter-finals and ending with the final match of the tournament. A third-place match was also played between the two losing teams of the semi-finals (Iraq and United Arab Emirates).

Japan were the defending champions going into the tournament, having won the previous competition in 2011. They recorded their worst finish in the Asian Cup since the 1996 edition in the United Arab Emirates, being knocked out in the quarter-finals by the United Arab Emirates in a penalty shoot-out.[2]

Host selection[edit]

Australia initially put forward its bid to host the 2015 AFC Asian Cup in 2010.[3] As the sole bidder for the hosting rights, Australia was officially named host on 5 January 2011.[4]

Considering the efforts of the Football Federation Australia in developing the game on their territory and considering also all the achievements that have been made towards the development of football in Australia and to encourage Australia to take steps towards developing the game, I am happy and honoured to announce that the executive committee of the Asian Football Confederation has approved Australia as the host nation of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.

Qualification[edit]

  Qualified for Asian Cup
  Failed to qualify
  Did not enter
  Not an AFC member

The 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification process determined the 16 participating teams for the tournament. In the initial scheme, ten places were determined by qualification matches, while six places were reserved for the 2015 host nation, top three finishers in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, and the two winners of the AFC Challenge Cup. Though, as the host nation Australia also finished as runners-up in the 2011 Asian Cup, the initial six automatic qualification spots were reduced to five, with a total of 11 spots eventually determined by the qualification matches, in which 20 AFC members competed.[6]

There were two main competitive paths to the 2015 Asian Cup. The AFC Challenge Cup acted as a qualification competition for eligible countries within the emerging and developing category of member associations. The winners of the AFC Challenge Cup competitions in 2012 and 2014 qualified automatically to the 2015 AFC Asian Cup finals.[7] The remaining spots were available for the teams competing in the main Asian Cup preliminaries. The AFC decided that the 20 teams involved in the qualifiers would be drawn into five groups of four teams each. The top two teams from each group and one best third-placed team from among all the groups would qualify for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.[8]

Qualified teams[edit]

The following sixteen teams qualified for the tournament.

Country Qualified as Qualified on Previous appearance in tournament1
 Australia Hosts 5 January 2011 2 (2007, 2011)
 Japan 2011 AFC Asian Cup winners 25 January 2011 7 (1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2011)
 South Korea 2011 AFC Asian Cup 3rd place 28 January 2011 12 (1956, 1960, 1964, 1972, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2011)
 North Korea 2012 Challenge Cup winners 19 March 2012 3 (1980, 1992, 2011)
 Bahrain Group D winners 15 November 2013 4 (1988, 2004, 2007, 2011)
 United Arab Emirates Group E winners 15 November 2013 8 (1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2004, 2007, 2011)
 Saudi Arabia Group C winners 15 November 2013 8 (1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2011)
 Oman Group A winners 19 November 2013 2 (2004, 2007)
 Uzbekistan Group E runners-up 19 November 2013 5 (1996, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2011)
 Qatar Group D runners-up 19 November 2013 8 (1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2011)
 Iran Group B winners 19 November 2013 12 (1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2011)
 Kuwait Group B runners-up 19 November 2013 9 (1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2011)
 Jordan Group A runners-up 4 February 2014 2 (2004, 2011)
 Iraq Group C runners-up 5 March 2014 7 (1972, 1976, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2011)
 China PR Best third-placed team 5 March 2014 10 (1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2011)
 Palestine 2014 Challenge Cup winners 30 May 2014 0 (debut)
1 Bold indicates champion for that year.

Final draw[edit]

The Sydney Opera House, location for the final draw

The draw for the final tournament was held at the Sydney Opera House on 26 March 2014.[9] The draw procedure involved the 16 participating teams being drawn at random into the four groups of the group stage.[10] In preparation for this, the teams were organised into four pots based on a seeding which used the March 2014 FIFA World Rankings (rankings beside the qualified teams). The draw and seeding ensured a fair distribution of teams in the groups, with each of the four groups in the group stage made up of one team from each pot. The host nation (Australia) was automatically placed into Pot 1, with the team having been predetermined to be in Group A.[11] In addition, at the time of the draw, the identity of the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup winners (Palestine) was not known yet, and they were automatically placed into Pot 4.

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4

 Australia (63) (hosts)
 Iran (42)
 Japan (48)
 Uzbekistan (55)

 South Korea (60)
 United Arab Emirates (61)
 Jordan (66)
 Saudi Arabia (75)

 Oman (81)
 China PR (98)
 Qatar (101)
 Iraq (103)

 Bahrain (106)
 Kuwait (110)
 North Korea (133)
 Palestine (167)

Venues[edit]

Stadiums[edit]

The five host cities for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle, were announced on 27 March 2013, with a total five stadia to be used.[12]

Sydney Newcastle Brisbane
Stadium Australia Newcastle Stadium Brisbane Stadium
Capacity: 84,000 Capacity: 23,000[13] Capacity: 52,500
Sydney-Galaxy-homebush.jpg Ausgrid Stadium.jpg Suncorpstadium071006a.JPG
Canberra
Canberra Stadium
Capacity: 25,011
BruceStadium19032005.JPG
Melbourne
Melbourne Rectangular Stadium
Capacity: 30,050
Backofamipark.JPG

Ticketing[edit]

Tickets for the venues were sold directly by AFC via its website, or distributed by the football associations of the 16 finalists. 500,000 tickets were available for the 31 tournament matches.[14] Over 45,000 international visitors were forecast to visit Australia during the tournament.[15] Prices varied from $15 (for a seat behind the goals at a group match) to $150 (for a seat in the main stand at the final). In addition to individual match tickets, fans could buy packages to see all matches played at one specific venue.[16]

Team base camps[edit]

Each team had a "team base camp" for its stay between the matches. From an initial list of 27 potential locations, the national associations chose their locations in 2014.[17] The teams trained and resided in these locations throughout the tournament, travelling to games staged away from their bases.[18]

Team Arrival Last match Base camp Group stage venues QF venues SF venues Final venue
 Australia 29 December 31 January Melbourne Melbourne, Sydney & Brisbane Brisbane Newcastle Sydney
 Bahrain 22 December 19 January Ballarat Melbourne, Canberra & Sydney N/A N/A N/A
 China PR 29 December 22 January Sydney Brisbane & Canberra Brisbane N/A N/A
 Iran 31 December 23 January Sydney Melbourne, Sydney & Brisbane Canberra N/A N/A
 Iraq 1 January 30 January Canberra Brisbane & Canberra Canberra Sydney Newcastle
 Japan 3 January 23 January Cessnock Newcastle, Brisbane & Melbourne Sydney N/A N/A
 Jordan 23 December 20 January Melbourne Brisbane & Melbourne N/A N/A N/A
 Kuwait 18 December 17 January Queanbeyan Melbourne, Canberra & Newcastle N/A N/A N/A
 North Korea 15 December 18 January Canberra Sydney, Melbourne & Canberra N/A N/A N/A
 Oman 28 December 17 January Sydney Canberra, Sydney & Newcastle N/A N/A N/A
 Palestine 2 January 20 January Brisbane Newcastle, Melbourne & Canberra N/A N/A N/A
 Qatar 28 December 19 January Canberra Canberra & Sydney N/A N/A N/A
 Saudi Arabia 26 December 18 January Brisbane Brisbane & Melbourne N/A N/A N/A
 South Korea 27 December 31 January Brisbane Canberra & Brisbane Melbourne Sydney Sydney
 United Arab Emirates 26 December 30 January Gold Coast Canberra & Brisbane Sydney Newcastle Newcastle
 Uzbekistan 3 January 22 January Melbourne Sydney, Brisbane & Melbourne Melbourne N/A N/A

Broadcasting[edit]

The tournament was broadcast live by around 80 TV channels covering the whole world.[19] 800 million people were expected to watch matches,[14] with the tournament reaching a potential TV audience of more than 2.5 billion people.[20] Below is the list of confirmed broadcasting right holders for 2015 AFC Asian Cup.

Territory Channel Ref
 Arab League beIN Sports [19]
Asia-Pacific Fox International Channels [19]
 Australia Fox Sports, ABC [21]
 Brazil SporTV [19]
 China CCTV [22]
Europe Eurosport [19]
 Hong Kong Now TV [22]
 India Sony SIX [22]
 Indonesia Sindo TV [22]
 Iran IRIB [22]
 Japan TV Asahi, NHK BS1 [19]
 Malaysia TV3 [19]
 New Zealand Sky Sport [22]
North America ONE World Sports [19]
 South Africa SABC [22]
 South Korea KBS, SBS, MBC [19]
 Thailand Channel 7 [19]
 Philippines ABS-CBN Sports+Action [19]
 Uzbekistan SPORT-UZ [22]

Match ball[edit]

Main article: Nike Ordem 2

The Nike Ordem 2 was announced as the official 2015 Asian Cup match ball on 1 October 2014. The ball features the traditional colors of the tournament. The mainly white ball has a distinctive design with a mainly red graphic pattern and yellow details for better visibility. It shows the official 2015 AFC Asian Cup logo as well as a black Swoosh. The ball was designed for true flight, accuracy and control, and features Nike Aerowtrac grooves and a micro-textured casing. Nike RaDaR (Rapid Decision and Response) technology with a unique graphic upper is also utilised in its design to see the ball faster, while the three layer synthetic upper is made for optimal touch.[23]

Match officials[edit]

On 1 January 2015, the AFC named 47 match officials to be used in the tournament, including referees, assistant referees, fourth officials, and reserve assistant referees. Each main refereeing team (of which there were eleven) consisted of three match officials from the same country: one referee and two assistant referees.[24] The AFC decided three match officials from New Zealand would take part in the tournament, despite the country being in the Oceania Football Confederation. Match officials were based in Sydney, during the Asian Cup, where they trained together, had technical meetings, conduct match reviews and previews, and only split when attending appointments at the five Asian Cup stadiums in Canberra, Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane and Melbourne.[25] Australian referee Chris Beath, who was a fourth official before the start of the tournament, was promoted for one match when Uzbek referee Valentin Kovalenko had to withdraw due to illness.[25]

Country Referee Assistant referees Matches refereed
 Australia Ben Williams Matthew Cream
Paul Cetrangolo
Iran–Bahrain (Group C)
Uzbekistan–Saudi Arabia (Group B)
Iran–Iraq (Quarter-final)
 Bahrain Nawaf Shukralla Yaser Tulefat
Ebrahim Saleh
Uzbekistan–North Korea (Group B)
Australia–South Korea (Group A)
Iraq–United Arab Emirates (Third place match)
 Iran Alireza Faghani Reza Sokhandan
Mohammad Reza Abolfazli
Saudi Arabia–China PR (Group B)
Kuwait–South Korea (Group A)
Iraq–Japan (Group D)
Japan–United Arab Emirates (Quarter-final)
South Korea–Australia (Final)
 Japan Ryuji Sato Toru Sagara
Toshiyuki Nagi
Oman–Australia (Group A)
Iran–United Arab Emirates (Group C)
South Korea–Iraq (Semi-final)
 New Zealand Peter O'Leary Jan-Hendrik Hintz
Mark Rule
South Korea–Oman (Group A)
 Oman Abdullah Al Hilali Hamad Al-Mayahi
Abu Bakar Al Amri
North Korea–Saudi Arabia (Group B)
Qatar–Bahrain (Group C)
 Qatar Abdulrahman Abdou Taleb Al-Marri
Ramzan Al-Naemi
Japan–Palestine (Group D)
China PR–North Korea (Group B)
 Saudi Arabia Fahad Al-Mirdasi Badr Al-Shumrani
Abdulla Al Shalwai
Jordan–Iraq (Group D)
Oman–Kuwait (Group A)
South Korea–Uzbekistan (Quarter-final)
 South Korea Kim Jong-hyeok Jeong Hae-Sang
Yoon Kwang-Yeol
United Arab Emirates–Qatar (Group C)
Palestine–Jordan (Group D)
China PR–Australia (Quarter-final)
 United Arab Emirates Abdulla Hassan Mohamed Mohamed Al Hammadi
Hasan Al Mahri
China PR–Uzbekistan (Group B)
Iraq–Palestine (Group D)
 Uzbekistan Ravshan Irmatov Abdukhamidullo Rasulov
Bakhadyr Kochkarov[a]
Australia–Kuwait (Group A)
Qatar–Iran (Group C)
Japan–Jordan (Group D)
Australia–United Arab Emirates (Semi-final)
  •    Final referee.

Six match officials, who served as fourth officials, and eight reserve assistant referees, who served as fifth officials, were also named:

Squads[edit]

As with the 2011 tournament, each team's squad consisted of 23 players (three of whom had to be goalkeepers). Each participating national association had to confirm their final 23-player squad no later than 10 days before the start of the tournament.[26] Teams were permitted to make late replacements in the event of serious injury, at any time up to 6 hours before their first game. During a match, all remaining squad members not named in the starting team were available to be one of the three permitted substitutions (provided the player was not serving a suspension).

Group stage[edit]

The group stage of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup took place from 9–20 January 2015: each team played three games, with the winners and runners-up from each group advancing to the knockout stage. The group stage was notable for finishing without a draw. In doing so, it became the first major international football tournament since the 1930 FIFA World Cup to record a result for every group stage match. Additionally, it surpassed the record of consecutive results at a tournament – 18 – also set at the 1930 World Cup.[27]

Group A[edit]

Opening match, Australia vs Kuwait
Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  South Korea 3 3 0 0 3 0 +3 9 Advance to knockout stage
2  Australia (H) 3 2 0 1 8 2 +6 6
3  Oman 3 1 0 2 1 5 −4 3
4  Kuwait 3 0 0 3 1 6 −5 0
Source: Asian Cup Australia 2015
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers
(H) Host.
9 January 2015
Australia  4–1  Kuwait Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne
10 January 2015
South Korea  1–0  Oman Canberra Stadium, Canberra
13 January 2015
Kuwait  0–1  South Korea Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Oman  0–4  Australia Stadium Australia, Sydney
17 January 2015
Australia  0–1  South Korea Brisbane Stadium, Brisbane
Oman  1–0  Kuwait Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle

Group B[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  China PR 3 3 0 0 5 2 +3 9 Advance to knockout stage
2  Uzbekistan 3 2 0 1 5 3 +2 6
3  Saudi Arabia 3 1 0 2 5 5 0 3
4  North Korea 3 0 0 3 2 7 −5 0
Source: Asian Cup Australia 2015
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers
10 January 2015
Uzbekistan  1–0  North Korea Stadium Australia, Sydney
Saudi Arabia  0–1  China PR Brisbane Stadium, Brisbane
14 January 2015
North Korea  1–4  Saudi Arabia Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne
China PR  2–1  Uzbekistan Brisbane Stadium, Brisbane
18 January 2015
Uzbekistan  3–1  Saudi Arabia Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne
China PR  2–1  North Korea Canberra Stadium, Canberra

Group C[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Iran 3 3 0 0 4 0 +4 9 Advance to knockout stage
2  United Arab Emirates 3 2 0 1 6 3 +3 6
3  Bahrain 3 1 0 2 3 5 −2 3
4  Qatar 3 0 0 3 2 7 −5 0
Source: Asian Cup Australia 2015
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers
11 January 2015
United Arab Emirates  4–1  Qatar Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Iran  2–0  Bahrain Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne
15 January 2015
Bahrain  1–2  United Arab Emirates Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Qatar  0–1  Iran Stadium Australia, Sydney
19 January 2015
Iran  1–0  United Arab Emirates Brisbane Stadium, Brisbane
Qatar  1–2  Bahrain Stadium Australia, Sydney

Group D[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Japan 3 3 0 0 7 0 +7 9 Advance to knockout stage
2  Iraq 3 2 0 1 3 1 +2 6
3  Jordan 3 1 0 2 5 4 +1 3
4  Palestine 3 0 0 3 1 11 −10 0
Source: Asian Cup Australia 2015
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers
12 January 2015
Japan  4–0  Palestine Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle
Jordan  0–1  Iraq Brisbane Stadium, Brisbane
16 January 2015
Palestine  1–5  Jordan Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne
Iraq  0–1  Japan Brisbane Stadium, Brisbane
20 January 2015
Japan  2–0  Jordan Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne
Iraq  2–0  Palestine Canberra Stadium, Canberra

Knockout stage[edit]

In all matches in the knockout stage, if the score were level at the end of 90 minutes, two 15-minute periods of extra time was played. If the score were still level after extra time, the match was decided by a penalty shoot-out.[26]

 
Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
 
                   
 
22 January – Melbourne
 
 
 South Korea (a.e.t.) 2
 
26 January – Sydney
 
 Uzbekistan 0
 
 South Korea 2
 
23 January – Canberra
 
 Iraq 0
 
 Iran 3 (6)
 
31 January – Sydney
 
 Iraq (pen.) 3 (7)
 
 South Korea 1
 
22 January – Brisbane
 
 Australia (a.e.t.) 2
 
 China PR 0
 
27 January – Newcastle
 
 Australia 2
 
 Australia 2
 
23 January – Sydney
 
 United Arab Emirates 0 Third Place
 
 Japan 1 (4)
 
30 January – Newcastle
 
 United Arab Emirates (pen.) 1 (5)
 
 Iraq 2
 
 
 United Arab Emirates 3
 

Scores after extra time are indicated by (a.e.t.), and penalty shoot-out are indicated by (pen.).

Quarter-finals[edit]

With a 2–0 victory over Uzbekistan in extra time, South Korea set a tournament record for appearing in ten semi-finals. The host country, Australia, reached the final four for the second consecutive time after overcoming China PR by the same score. Iran were eliminated for the third consecutive time in an Asian Cup quarter-final after they were defeated by Iraq in a penalty shoot-out after the match ended 3–3 in extra time, not before a sending off which reduced the Iranians to 10 men late in the first half. The United Arab Emirates eliminated reigning champions Japan through a penalty shoot-out following a 1–1 draw at the end of extra time, marking Japan's worst finish since 1996.


22 January 2015
20:30 AEST (UTC+10)
China PR  0–2  Australia
Report Cahill Goal 48'65'
Brisbane Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 46,067
Referee: Kim Jong-hyeok (South Korea)


Semi-finals[edit]

South Korea reached their first final since 1988, after overcoming Iraq 2–0. With a 2–0 victory against the United Arab Emirates, Australia qualified for their second consecutive final out of only three appearances in the Asian Cup since moving to the Asian Football Confederation from the Oceania Football Confederation in 2006.

26 January 2015
20:00 AEDT (UTC+11)
South Korea  2–0  Iraq
Lee Jung-hyup Goal 20'
Kim Young-gwon Goal 50'
Report
Stadium Australia, Sydney
Attendance: 36,053
Referee: Ryuji Sato (Japan)

Third place match[edit]

This was both Iraq's and the United Arab Emirates' second appearance in a third place playoff at the AFC Asian Cup, with the teams contesting in 1976 and 1992 respectively. The United Arab Emirates won the match 3–2 and finished in third-place for the first time.

30 January 2015
20:00 AEDT (UTC+11)
Iraq  2–3  United Arab Emirates
Salem Goal 28'
Kalaf Goal 42'
Report Khalil Goal 16'51'
Mabkhout Goal 57' (pen.)
Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle
Attendance: 12,829
Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (Bahrain)

Final[edit]

South Korea entered the match looking for their third Asian Cup title, whereas Australia attempted to win their first. After a late goal by Australia in the first half and another late goal by South Korea in the second half, the match was taken into extra time. Australia eventually won the match 2–1.

31 January 2015
20:00 AEDT (UTC+11)
South Korea  1–2 (a.e.t.)  Australia
Son Heung-min Goal 90+1' Report Luongo Goal 45'
Troisi Goal 105'
Stadium Australia, Sydney
Attendance: 76,385
Referee: Alireza Faghani (Iran)

Statistics[edit]

Goalscorers[edit]

5 goals
4 goals
3 goals
2 goals
1 goal
1 own goal

Assists[edit]

4 assists
3 assists
2 assists
1 assist

Discipline[edit]

In the final tournament, a player was suspended for the subsequent match in the competition for either getting red card or accumulating two yellow cards in two different matches. The match review panel has the ability to increase the automatic one match ban for a red card (e.g. for violent conduct). Single yellow card cautions were erased at the conclusion of the quarter-finals, and were not carried over to the semi-finals (so that a player could only be suspended for the final by getting a red card in the semi-final). The following players were or are suspended during the final tournament – for one or more games – as a result of red cards or yellow card accumulations:

Player Offence Suspension
Kuwait Fahad Awadh Booked in qualification vs Iran
Booked in qualification vs Iran
Group A vs Australia[28]
Uzbekistan Islom Tukhtakhodjaev Yellow cardYellow cardRed card in qualification vs United Arab Emirates Group B vs North Korea[29]
North Korea Ri Sang-chol Unsporting conduct towards a match official[c] Group B vs Uzbekistan
Group B vs Saudi Arabia
Group B vs China PR[30]
Saudi Arabia Fahad Al-Muwallad Booked in qualification vs China PR
Booked in qualification vs Indonesia
Group B vs China PR[31]
China Sun Ke Booked in qualification vs Iraq
Booked in qualification vs Iraq
Group B vs Saudi Arabia[31]
State of Palestine Ahmed Harbi Yellow cardYellow cardRed card in Group D vs Japan Group D vs Jordan
Jordan Anas Bani Yaseen Yellow cardYellow cardRed card in Group D vs Iraq Group D vs Palestine
North Korea Ri Yong-jik Red card in Group B vs Saudi Arabia Group B vs China PR
China Ren Hang Booked in Group B vs Saudi Arabia
Booked in Group B vs Uzbekistan
Group B vs North Korea
Iraq Alaa Abdul-Zahra Booked in Group D vs Jordan
Booked in Group D vs Japan
Group D vs Palestine
Australia Matthew Spiranovic Booked in Group A vs Oman
Booked in Group A vs South Korea
Quarter-final vs China PR
United Arab Emirates Walid Abbas Booked in Group C vs Qatar
Booked in Group C vs Iran
Quarter-final vs Japan
Iran Mehrdad Pooladi Yellow cardYellow cardRed card in Quarter-final vs Iraq World Cup qualifying
Iraq Yaser Kasim Booked in Group D vs Jordan
Booked in Quarter-final vs Iran
Semi-final vs South Korea
Iraq Ahmad Ibrahim Red card in Third place match vs United Arab Emirates World Cup qualifying

Awards[edit]

Team of the tournament

Four players from the winning Australian team were selected in the team of the tournament, while all other players included were from a team which progressed to the semi-finals.[32]

Goalkeeper Defenders Midfielders Forwards

Australia Mathew Ryan

Iraq Dhurgham Ismail
South Korea Kwak Tae-hwi
Australia Trent Sainsbury
South Korea Cha Du-Ri

Australia Massimo Luongo
United Arab Emirates Omar Abdulrahman
South Korea Ki Sung-Yeung

United Arab Emirates Ali Mabkhout
Australia Tim Cahill
South Korea Son Heung-Min

Golden Boot
Golden Glove
Player of the Tournament
Fair Play Award

Tournament team rankings[edit]

As per statistical convention in football, matches decided in extra time are counted as wins and losses, while matches decided by penalty shoot-outs are counted as draws.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Final Result
1  Australia (H) 6 5 0 1 14 3 +11 15 Champion
2  South Korea 6 5 0 1 8 2 +6 15 Runner-up
3  United Arab Emirates 6 3 1 2 10 8 +2 10 Third Place
4  Iraq 6 2 1 3 8 9 −1 7 Fourth Place
5  Japan 4 3 1 0 8 1 +7 10 Eliminated in
quarter-finals
6  Iran 4 3 1 0 7 3 +4 10
7  China PR 4 3 0 1 5 4 +1 9
8  Uzbekistan 4 2 0 2 5 5 0 6
9  Jordan 3 1 0 2 5 4 +1 3 Eliminated in
group stage
10  Saudi Arabia 3 1 0 2 5 5 0 3
11  Bahrain 3 1 0 2 3 5 −2 3
12  Oman 3 1 0 2 1 5 −4 3
13(T)  North Korea 3 0 0 3 2 7 −5 0
13(T)  Qatar 3 0 0 3 2 7 −5 0
15  Kuwait 3 0 0 3 1 6 −5 0
16  Palestine 3 0 0 3 1 11 −10 0
Source: Asian Cup Australia 2015
(H) Host.

Records[edit]

The 2015 Asian Cup achieved 26 consecutive matches without a draw, the most of any major football tournament, breaking the previous record of 18 set at the 1930 FIFA World Cup in Uruguay.[33]

Ali Mabkhout broke the record for fastest goal at the AFC Asian Cup, scoring after just 14 seconds for the United Arab Emirates against Bahrain in their group stage match.[34]

Palestine made its first ever appearance in the Asian Cup, and Jaka Ihbeisheh scored the nation's first ever goal at an Asian Cup in their second group match against Jordan.

With the title, Australia became the first men's national team to win titles in two different confederations, having won the OFC Nations Cup four times before moving to the AFC.[35] Tim Cahill and Mark Bresciano became the first men's players to win two different confederation titles, having previously won the 2004 OFC Nations Cup.[36] By winning the Asian Cup, Australia also became the first country to simultaneously hold the AFC Asian Cup and AFC Champions League titles, following the triumph of Western Sydney Wanderers in the 2014 AFC Champions League.[37][38]

Marketing[edit]

Trophy tour[edit]

The Trophy Tour commenced in China in September 2014, it then travelled to Qatar, United Arab Emirates, South Korea and Japan before arriving in Australia in December, where it was taken to all five 2015 AFC Asian Cup host cities.[39]

Opening ceremony[edit]

Asian Cup opening ceremony

The opening ceremony of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup took place on 9 January, at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, before the opening match of the tournament between hosts Australia and Kuwait.[40] The ceremony was produced by a consortium of sport event specialists Twenty3 Sports + Entertainment and creative technology firm Spinifex Group. The consortium has worked on major international sporting events including the 2010 Winter Olympics and the 2008 Summer Olympics opening ceremony.[41] The opening ceremony for the Asian Cup directed by Chong Lim, and featured performances by Australian DJ, singer and dancer Havana Brown, Australian indie pop band Sheppard, Indigenous Australian musician Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, and Australian hip-hop artists L-Fresh The Lion, Joelistics and Mistress of Ceremony.[42][43] It also featured 80 children from local junior football clubs and a performing cast of more than 120 Australian dancers, acrobats, Indigenous performers and football freestylers.[44]

Logo and mascot[edit]

Nutmeg the Wombat, mascot of the cup at Federation Square

The official logo for the tournament was unveiled at a special event in Melbourne, in October 2012. Designed by Sydney agency, WiteKite.[45] The logo depicts a stylised player, kicking a football from the east coast of Australia across country towards Asia. The ball also represents the Australian summer sun arcing west from Australia to Asia. The four golden bands forming the map of Australia represent the four host cities. The design is embraced by the AFC holding device.[46]

The mascot of the tournament, "Nutmeg the Wombat", was unveiled at the Wild Life Sydney Zoo, on 11 November 2014.[47] The mascot, a wombat native to Australia, wore the colours of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, red and yellow. It was named after the football trick where a player dribbles the ball through an opponent's legs, known as a nutmeg.

Sponsorship[edit]

AFC announced ten official sponsors and six official supporters as shown below.[48]

Official sponsors Official supporters

Concerns and controversies[edit]

Due to a hostage taking in Sydney in December 2014, security was increased for all team bases and stadiums, in addition to police escorts for all official activities.[49]

During a doping test, Jordan's Ahmad Hayel was required to drink so much water to produce a urine sample, that he developed hypothermia and was rendered unconscious.[50] Jordan coach Ray Wilkins was infuriated at Asian Cup officials over the procedure.[51]

On 20 January 2015, an anti-IS activist group reported that thirteen Iraqi fans were rounded up and publicly executed by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants for watching the Jordan–Iraq match on television in Mosul.[52]

On 24 January 2015, following the country's elimination from the tournament, it was revealed that the Iranian Football Federation (FFIRI) had lodged a formal complaint to FIFA against their quarter-final opponent. The complaint was regarding the eligibility of Iraqi midfielder Alaa Abdul-Zahra, with the FFIRI arguing that the player should have not been allowed to play due to him submitting a positive doping test while playing for an Iranian club side in 2014. According to documents seen by Agence France-Presse, the 27-year-old tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexanamine, in results that were verified by a WADA-approved laboratory in Cologne.[53] In an email exchange dated September 2014, FIFA promised to take action but there is no record of a suspension for Abdul-Zahra.[53] The Iranian national team remained in Australia whilst awaiting a response from FIFA and a final decision by the AFC disciplinary committee.[54] On 25 January, the AFC disciplinary committee decided that the FFIRI protest was unfounded, and therefore dismissed the case, with Iraq cleared to take its place in their semi-final match against South Korea the following day.[55]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Officiated under Football Federation of the Kyrgyz Republic.[56]
  2. ^ Served with Jakhongir Saidov (of Uzbekistan) and Chow Chun Kit (of Hong Kong) in Bahrain–United Arab Emirates (Group C).
  3. ^ Offence committed in 2012 Summer Olympics second round qualification vs United Arab Emirates.

References[edit]

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  4. ^ "Australia to host 2015 AFC Asian Cup". FIFA. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Australia to host 2015 AFC Asian Cup". Asian Football Confederation. 5 January 2011. 
  6. ^ "Automatic bye to 2015 Finals for top-three". the-afc.com. 24 January 2011. 
  7. ^ "AFC Competitions Committee". Asian Football Confederation. 23 November 2010. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
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  12. ^ "Venues and Match Schedule" (PDF). footballaustralia.com.au. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  13. ^ Linden, Julian (19 January 2015). "Asian Cup officials rule out moving semi-final from Newcastle's Hunter Stadium". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 January 2015. The second semi is set to be played a day later at Newcastle's Hunter Stadium, which has a capacity of just 23,000. 
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  40. ^ "Victoria to open Australia’s biggest ever international football event". premier.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  41. ^ "Consortium appointed to create Asian Cup opening ceremony". mumbrella.com.au. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
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  48. ^ "About Asian Cup". afcasiancup.com. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  49. ^ "Asian Cup: Hosts Australia asked to strengthen security". BBC Sport. 16 December 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  50. ^ "Asian Cup: Doping test 'makes Jordan player sick'". BBC Sport. 14 January 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
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  52. ^ "ISIS execute 13 football fans by firing squad for watching Iraq play Jordan on TV in Islamist-controlled Mosul". dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 27 January 2015. 
  53. ^ a b "Iran's protest over Iraqi player rejected". Yahoo Sports. 25 January 2015. 
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  56. ^ "Kyrgyzstan: Football Officials - Referees". FIFA.com. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 

External links[edit]