Friday, October 28, 2005

East Asian Games about to begin - Soccer Gold is the big prize

The East Asian Games will begin on Saturday in Macao and the one sport everyone will be watching is soccer. Seven sides will compete to bring home the glory.

Here are the groups:
Group A
South Korea
Chinese Taipei

Group B
North Korea
Chinese Hong Kong
Chinese Macao

The top two teams of each group will go to the semis.

Japan is the hands on favorite to win it all. The Japanese squad includes two pro players (Teiichi Ikegami and Shingo Fujimoto, both of Tokyo FC) along with Yuhei Tokunaga and Shingo Hyodo (who both had experience in the world youth championship) and Athens Olympian Yuhei Tokunaga.

Interestingly enough, South Korea coach Kim Chol compared the Chinese men's soccer team to a bag of sand on Friday, vowing to claim the most coveted title at the East Asian Games. China's side will have many pro players on it while South Korea will use mainly university students.

In other Korean news, the two Koreas will meet to continue discussions of fielding a unified soccer team for next year's Asian Games and the 2008 Olympics. During talks in September, the two sides reached a provisional agreement on fielding such a team. Not bad for two countries that are still technically at war with one another.

Anyway, here is the list of all the matches during the East Asian Games (all times are Macao local):

1 Oct 29 14:30 Japan vs Taipei
2 Oct 30 18:00 North Korea vs Hong Kong
3 Oct 30 20:30 Macau vs China
4 Oct 31 18:00 Taipei vs South Korea

5 Nov 1 18:00 North Korea vs Macau
6 Nov 1 20:30 Hong Kong vs China
7 Nov 2 20:00 Japan vs South Korea
8 Nov 3 20:00 Hong Kong vs Macau
9 Nov 3 20:00 North Korea vs China

10 Nov 5 16:00 B1 vs A2
11 Nov 5 19:00 A2 vs B1
12 Nov 6 14:00 Third Place Match
13 Nov 6 17:00Final


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