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 Posted by John Duerden
Jul 1, 2014

10 reasons why Asia failed at the World Cup

Carlos Queiroz left his post as Iran manager following his side's exit in the group stages while other Asian clubs struggled this summer.

A look at why Asia struggled as a whole at this World Cup...

Lack of leadership

When Korean coach Hong Myung-bo went to Netherlands to visit Park Ji-sung in March, he wasn't there to scout potential latter stage opposition but to persuade the PSV Eindhoven man to return from international retirement. "This young team needs a veteran," said Hong. Park's knackered knees knocked that idea on the head but it was clear that Korea missed the experience and leadership of such a star. Japan also did...

Jun 23, 2014

Five Aside: Matchday 12

With its 4-1 defeat of Cameroon in the capital city of Brasilia, Brazil won its group for the ninth straight World Cup. Mexico finishes as the Group A runner-up with its 3-1 victory over Croatia in Recife, advancing to the round of 16 for the sixth straight World Cup, the third-longest active streak of any team.

Here are five notes on the action from an important matchday 12:

Brazil advances past the group stage for the 12th straight World Cup, the second-longest active streak of any team behind...

Jun 23, 2014

Review needed after Australia exit

2014 FIFA World Cup Group B: Australia 0-3 Spain

After showing so much fight before ultimately succumbing to the talent of Chile and the Netherlands, Australia bowed out of the World Cup with a whimper in their final Group B clash against Spain.

Three gifted opportunities were gleefully accepted by the reigning world champions in a match that, to be fair, often resembled a training run. Though neither side had a hope of qualifying for the knockout phase of the competition, the lack of urgency played right into Spain's hands.

- Alvarez: T...

 Posted by Eduardo Alvarez
Jun 23, 2014

Three Points: Old guard rally for Spain

2014 FIFA World Cup Group B: Australia 0-3 Spain

CURITIBA, Brazil -- Three thoughts on Spain's 3-0 win over Australia in the final game of Group B.

1. Vintage strike force given one last chance

In a telling example of Spain's need for renovation, manager Vicente del Bosque started the same strike duo that led the team to Euro '08 success under Luis Aragones. Amid a testimonial atmosphere in Curitiba, six years later Fernando Torres and David Villa joined forces against Australia in what was very likely their final match -- individually or toge...

Jun 22, 2014

Assessment: Australia on the up

Despite finishing with a disappointing 3-0 loss against Spain Australian fans see a bright future for the Socceroos.

Australia have bowed out of the World Cup in the group stages and ESPNFC blogger Rob Brooks gives his verdict on the brighter points of the campaign as well as what went wrong.

One sentence, World Cup recap

This group of Socceroos took the first step toward becoming the national team Australia has wanted for many years.

All team assessments

Group Stage: Australia | Bosnia-Herzegovina | Cameroon | Croatia | Ecuador | England | Ghana | Honduras | Italy | Iran
Ivory Coast Japan | Portugal | Russia | South Korea | Spain
Round of 16: Algeria | Chile | Greece | Mexico
Nigeria | Switzerland | Uruguay | United States
Quarterfinals: Colombia | France | Belgium | Costa Rica
Semifinals: Brazil | Netherlands
Finalists: Argentina
Winners: Germany

Star Man

Though Tim Cahill led the line with distinction -- as he always seems to -- Mathew Leckie opened eyes across the globe with his dynamic play. It has taken some time for...

 Posted by John Duerden
Jun 18, 2014

Asian teams in World Cup look to improve their fortunes

2014 FIFA World Cup: Australia 2-3 Netherlands

If this were a league season, two points from the first five games would start to produce headlines in the media and grumbling among the fans. A couple of subsequent wins would mean mid-table, where the situation would look very different, but another defeat or two and then worries could easily turn to panic and, in a more high-pressured league, coaches would be in serious danger.

The collective Asian points haul is hardly a cause for celebration. Nobody expected a maximum haul across the board,...