With an immense tournament as the AFC Asian Cup, there are always curious and interesting facts to find out. Do you want to know the facts about the 2015 AFC Asian Cup? Keep on reading! We doubt if you know all these 2015 AFC Asian Cup facts already!
Champions Australia Qualified for the 2017 Confederations Cup
The Confederations Cup consists of the 6 champions of their continental football tournament including host nation Russia. For Asia it is the champion of the 215 AFC Asian Cup that will participate in the 2017 Confederations Cup, which ended up being Australia.
Australia is the First Team to have Won Tournaments From Different Confederations
Australia was always a member of the OFC (Oceanian Football Confederation), until they switched confederations in 2006. Before this, Australia won the OFC Nations Cup (the big continental football tournament of Oceania) in 1980, 1996, 2000 and 2004. Since 2006 when they switched to the AFC (Asian Football Confederation), they participate in the AFC Asian Cup. Australia won this tournament for the very first time in 2015, making them the only country to have won 2 main football tournaments of 2 different confederations.
Only 2 Players have Participated in Both Winning Tournaments
From the Australian team that won the 2004 OFC Nations Cup, only 2 players managed to play for so long to have been included in the Australian team for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. They are Tim Cahill and Mark Bresciano. Tim Cahill plays for the Australian team since 2004, and Mark Bresciano since 2001 but retired after the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
Australia was the Sole Bidder for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup
Australia placed their official 2015 AFC Asian Cup bid in 2010, 4 years before kick-off. As sole bidder, it was pretty obvious they would be awarded with the hosting rights. This was made official on January 5 2011.
This was the First Time Australia Hosted the AFC Asian Cup
Since Australia is a member of the AFC and not the OFC anymore, they were allowed to place a bid to host the tournament. 3 AFC Asian Cups were played since 2006, and Australia started to create interest for hosting rights since the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. While they thought of hosting the tournament, no bids were placed. This obviously changed for the tournament that was played 4 years later in 2015.
5 Host Cities Were Used for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup
5 cities and 5 stadiums were used to host the matches. The cities are Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Newcastle and capital city Canberra. The 5 stadiums have easy names: Stadium Australia, Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Brisbane Stadium, Newcastle stadium and Canberra Stadium. The kick-off match was played in Melbourne, and the Final in Sydney.
This was the First Time the AFC Asian Cup was Hosted Outside Asia
Before Australia joined the AFC, no other countries outside Asian countries were AFC members. Australia is the first and only AFC member so far that is not located in the Asian continent. Since Australia is an AFC member, and therefore are allowed to host the tournament as well, it was the first time in 2015 the tournament was played in Oceania.
Japan Recorded Their Worst Finish Since the 1996 AFC Asian Cup in UAE
Japan has a record win of 4 AFC Asian Cup tournaments, the nation won in 1992, 2000, 2004 and 2011. Although they reached the Quarter-Finals in 2015 which is pretty good, they have always reached the Semi-Finals at least in the last 4 AFC Asian Cups. The last time they had such a “worse” finish was in 1996 when the tournament was hosted in United Arab Emirates, when they reached the Quarter-Finals as well. Ironically enough, it was UAE that eliminated Japan in the 2015 tournament.
The Logo Represents the Colours of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup: Yellow and Red
Before any mascots, match balls, posters (if any) are revealed, it is the logo of the tournament that always has the honour of being unveiled first. This happened in October 2012 in Melbourne. The logo is designed by Sydney agency WiteKite and shows a player who kicks the ball. The ball moves from the east coast of Australia towards Asia, and represents the Australian summer sun arcing west from Australia to Asia. The four golden bands that form the map of Australia, represent 4 host cities.
The Nike Ordem 2 is the Official 2015 AFC Asian Cup Match Ball
With every big tournament, there has to be an official match ball. The supplier for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup is Nike that announced the Ordem 2 on October 1 2014. The colours of the ball matches the colours of the tournament’s logo (yellow/red) which is also included on the ball. The Ordem 2 was designed for true flight, accuracy and control, and includes Nike Aerowtrac grooves and a micro-textured casing. The ball also contains the Nike RaDaR (Rapid Decision and Response) technology with a unique graphic upper that is used in its design to make the ball faster.
Nutmeg the Wombat is the Official 2015 Asian Cup Mascot
Not only the ball, but a proper tournament should have a mascot as well, period. For this tournament it was Nutmeg the Wombat who had the privilege of promoting the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. Nutmag was unveiled on November 11 2014 at the Wild Life Sydney Zoo. A wombat is a pretty logical choice for a mascot, since this is a typical Australian creature mostly found in south-eastern Australia. The name nutmeg refers to the famous trick where a player dribbles the ball through the opponent’s legs. Like the logo and match ball, Nutmeg wears the colours red and yellow on his outfit.
There Were No Draws in the Group Stage
Pretty unique: not a SINGLE group match ended in a draw! There was always a winner and a loser! The last time we saw such uniqueness in a major football tournament, was waaay back in the 1930 World Cup!!
There Were 26 Consecutive Matches Without a Draw: a Record
As mentioned in the previous fact, every group match ended in a win. The group stage consists of 24 matches, so therefore 24 matches in a row ended in victory for one team. But! When the Quarter-Final started, the record continues. 2 matches ended in a win as well! This means that a total of 26 consecutive matches ended in a win, a record! The previous record of 18 matches was set in the 1930 World Cup, which means it took 85 years to break it!
South Korea Reached the Final for the First Time Since 1988
South Korea won the AFC Asian Cup wice looong time ago! They were the very first Asian Cups back in 1954 and 1858 which they won, so I can imagine it is time to win again! South Korea is one of the most succesul Asian football nations, and of their 13 Asian Cup appearances, they only failed to reach the last Semi-Finals 3 times only! The last time they reached the Final was in 1988. South Korea is like Germany in a World Cup (exluding the 2014 World Cup), they always go far but can’t finish it off. So it was a big deal to reach the Asian Cup’s Final after 27 years! But they ended up failing again to hold the Asian Cup’s trophy after the Final.
Ali Mabkhout Scored the Fastest Asian Cup Goal Ever
Ali Mabkhout who plays for United Arab Emirates, scored the fastest goal in AFC Asian Cup history after just 14 seconds! This happened in the group match against Bahrain which UAE won with 1-2.
Palestine Made its First Appearance in an Asian Cup
Palestine was the only country in the 2015 AFC Asian that made its debute. Although they occupied the 16th worst place of the tournament by losing every match, they did manage to score a goal. It was Jaka Ihbeisheh who scored Palestine’s only goal of the tournament against group member Jordan, which Palestine lost with 1-5.
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